Government set alcohol price in good news for drinkers
Alcohol tax has been frozen for only the second time in 20 years, it was announced in today's Budget.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak scrapped plans to increase duty on beer and spirits, with all other kinds of alcoholic drinks frozen too.
After the announcement, he said: "Pubs are at the centre of community life but too many have closed over the past decade.
"For only the second time in almost 20 years that is every single one of our alcohol duties frozen."
He also announced the small pub business rate discount will increase from £1,000 to £5,000.
However, it was also announced today that the price of cigarettes will rise by 27p per pack .
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Simon Clark, director of smokers' group Forest, told the paper: "This is another kick in the teeth for poorer smokers in particular.
"If the Conservatives want to keep their ‘red wall’ seats they need to show a lot more empathy for ordinary working people, including the millions of adults who enjoy smoking.
"Further increases in tobacco duty discriminate against those who are less well off.
"In addition to forcing some smokers further into poverty, it will encourage illicit trade which puts smokers at even greater risk from counterfeit tobacco.
"The Chancellor had an opportunity to stand up for consumers who are willing to pay their fair share of tax but object to being punished for a habit that already earns the Treasury over £10billion a year. Sadly he flunked it."
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But Amanda Sandford, of Action on Smoking and Health, said: "It is naturally hard to inhale smoke and for many the first time they smoke it is repugnant, but people persevere with it and that's when they become addicted.
"There is evidence that menthol cigarettes relax the airways and the flavour masks the harshness of the smoke, therefore younger people find it easier to smoke.
"However, it is an absolute myth that menthol cigarettes are better for you.
"All cigarettes are harmful and menthol cigarettes are just as dangerous as normal cigarettes."
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