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March 8th, 2017:

Budget hits smokers as price of pack of 20 cigarettes increases 35p – putting average pack of 20 to £10.26

• Tobacco duty will increase at two per cent above inflation putting prices up
• Cost of 30g pack of rolling tobacco will also rise by 44 pence from 6pm tonight
• New ‘minimum duty’ means cigarettes can not be sold for less than £8.82
• Part of series of ‘sin taxes’ which will hike price of wine, spirits and beer

Smokers have been hit by Philip Hammond’s spring Budget with the cost of a pack of 20 cigarettes rising by 35 pence tonight.

Tobacco duty will increase at two per cent above inflation under planned price hikes first announced in 2014.

The average cost of a 20-pack of premium cigarettes could now rise from £ 9.91 to £10.26, according to the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association (TMA).

It also means the price of a 30g pack of rolling tobacco will increase by 44 pence from 6pm tonight.

A new ‘minimum duty’ is separately being introduced from the 20th May based on a packet price of £7.35 – meaning it will not be possible to buy a pack of cigarettes for less than £8.82.

Cigarette makers are furious about the rises with the TMA claiming it could force buyers to turn to the black market.

The organisation’s director general Giles Roca said: ‘We are disappointed that the Government has once again raised taxation on tobacco when tax on some of the lowest priced cigarettes already accounts for 90 per cent of the price.

‘Taxation on tobacco in the UK is already the highest in the EU meaning that prices in the UK are up to four times higher than in other European countries.

‘Taxation on tobacco has also increased by over 50 per cent over the last 5 years. Today’s move will simply encourage people to buy from the black market.

During his Spring Budget speech Philip Hammond, pictured above, announced a series of so-called ‘sin taxes’ which will see the price of wine, spirits and beer increase
‘It takes business away from the legitimate trade whilst costing the taxpayer around £2.4billion in lost taxes in the last year alone.’

It is part of a series of so-called ‘sin taxes’ which will also see the price of wine, spirits and beer increase.

Duty on alcohol had not risen for five years but in today’s Spring Budget speech the Chancellor announced plans that will hike the price of a bottle of still wine by 8p.

The duty on sparkling wine will increase by 10p with a litre of gin up by 43p and a litre of vodka rising by 40p, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) chairman Colin Valentine said: ‘UK beer drinkers, pubs and brewers have been let down by the Chancellor’s decision to increase beer duty for the first time in five years.

‘The announced two penny a pint increase marks a return to the days when the much-hated Beer Duty Escalator contributed to 75,000 job losses, 3,700 pub closures and a 24per cent fall in beer sales in pubs.

‘The rise in beer duty will ultimately hit consumers in their pockets and lead to pub closures across the country.’

The cigarette price hike is one of a series of ‘sin tax’ increases on wine, spirits and beer.