UK Chancellor freezes alcohol duty

“Recognising the pressure on household budgets, and backing our Great British pubs, duties and others taxes on ciders, wine, spirits and on beer will be frozen,” announced Philip Hammond in his Autumn Statement.

“This will mean a bottle of whisky will be £1.15 less in 2018 than if we had continued with Labour’s plans,” he added.

“A pint of beer will also be 12 pence less, so Merry Christmas, Mr Deputy Speaker.”

The tax freeze is largely due to the campaigns led by drinks industry bodies.

“We are pleased that the Chancellor has found his festive spirit,” said Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA. A freeze will save the industry £247 million, the trade body added.

The Scotch Whisky Association “welcomes the freeze in excise duty on spirits, which helps support the competitiveness of Scotch – a major UK exporter – in uncertain times,” said Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive.