As part of the Budget measures the Chancellor confirmed that the duty rates on beers, spirits, wines and ciders will increase in line with the retail price index (RPI). These rates will increase from 1 August 2023.
The Chancellor did announce some help for the hospitality industry by increasing the Draught Relief duty differential from 5% to 9.2% for qualifying beer and cider products and from 20% to 23% for qualifying wine, other fermented products (previously made wine) and spirits.
These changes will also take effect from 1 August 2023 and mean that individuals who drink draught products in on-trade venues (such as pubs) will pay less tax than on the equivalent non-draught product in off-trade venues (such as supermarkets).
There will also be changes to help reform the current duty system from 1 August 2023. This will result in the creation of standardised tax bands based on alcohol by volume. The government will also introduce two new reliefs and transitional arrangements for certain wine products.
The rates of duty on tobacco products were increased by 2% above the rate of inflation (based on RPI) effective from 6pm on 15 March 2023. The rates of duty for hand-rolling tobacco increased by 6% above RPI and the Minimum Excise Tax (MET) by 3% above RPI at the same time. The government is committed to maintaining high tobacco duty rates as a tool to reduce smoking.