Doncaster health campaigners Caroline Flint and Ed Miliband have welcomed the Government’s pledge to consult on new rates of duty for white cider.
General alcohol duties are to rise in line with inflation, but the Chancellor has committed to a separate consultation on high strength cider.
Said Caroline Flint: “This is a welcome move. Both Ed Miliband and I saw the evidence of the role of cheap cider, the chosen drink of many problem drinkers who were being treated at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
“I hope we can use the evidence from our hospital wards, to convince the Government that high strength cider should have the same duty as similar strength beer.”
Said Ed Miliband: “Caroline and I wrote a forceful letter to the Chancellor after meeting specialist, staff and patients at the DRI. A three litre bottle of cider can cost as little as £3, yet contains the same alcohol as 22 shots of vodka.
“It is time to end the incredibly low tax on high-strength ciders.”
The Government is expected to announce the consultation on Monday 20 March.