No changes were made to alcohol duty – but a pint of beer is set to rise by up to 10p, because of changes already announced. This is because in the last Budget the Chancellor announced a tax escalator that automatically increases tax on alcohol by 2 per cent above inflation every year. So this year there will be a 7.2 per cent increase on wines, spirits and beers.
Beer tax has now increased by more than a third since 2008, taking the average price of a pint of real ale to £2.84, and £3.02 for a pint of lager.
Consumers will pay 15p more for a bottle of wine and 54p more for a bottle of spirits from Monday.
Humph - £2.84 may be the average price of a pint in the UK as a whole, but you'll be hard pushed to find a pint in central Edinburgh at less than £3.20.