Drinkers and smokers faced added pain today as George Osborne confirmed another duty rise on alcohol and cigarettes.
- Woman holding a cigarette near an ashtray
George Osborne told the House of Commons today that the increases would be effective from 6pm tonight.
He said: ‘Smoking remains the biggest cause of preventable illness in this country.
‘There is strong evidence that increasing the price of cigarettes deters people from smoking.
‘Duty on a packet of cigarettes will rise by five per cent above the rate of inflation. This will increase the cost of a packet of cigarettes by 37p.’
But smokers’ groups have slammed the duty increase on duty on tobacco products as a ‘smugglers’ charter’.
Simon Clark, director of Forest, said: ‘This is a smugglers’ charter. More and more consumers will turn to the black market or buy their tobacco abroad.
‘The elderly, the low paid and the unemployed will be hit the hardest but this is an attack on all law-abiding smokers who support Britain’s retailers by purchasing their cigarettes at home.