Quasi Quarteng has canceled planned walks in alcohol duty in its mini-budget, adding that it is part of a “drive to modernize”. The Chancellor told the House of Commons: “Our drive for modernization extends to the alcohol tax as well. I have listened to industry concerns about ongoing reforms. I will therefore introduce an 18-month transitional measure on the wine tax. I will also extend the draft relief to cover smaller barrels of 20 liters and above, to help smaller breweries. And during this difficult time, we will not increase the alcohol tax in line with the RPI.
“So I can announce that the planned increases in excise tax rates for beer, cider, wine and spirits will all be canceled.”
Mr. Kwarteng also announced in his statement to parliament that VAT-free shopping for foreign visitors would be introduced.
The chancellor announced that he would scrap the country’s higher income tax rate and lower the base rate from April 2023.
Mr Kwarteng said that from April next year the UK will have a single higher income tax rate of 40 per cent, while the income tax rate in the same month will be 19 pence – a year earlier than expected.
Confirming a cut in stamp duties, the Chancellor told the House of Commons: “Home ownership is the most common way for people to own assets, giving them a share in the success of our economy and society.
“So to support growth, build confidence and help families who want to own their own home, I can announce that we are reducing stamp duties.
“In the current system there is no stamp duty to pay on the first £125,000 of a property’s value. We double that – to £250,000.”
As an incentive for new buyers, he also announced that the stamp duty threshold for them would be raised from £300,000 to £425,000.
Mr Kwarteng added: “We are going to increase the value of the property that first-time buyers can claim an exemption from from £500,000 to £625,000.
“The steps we have taken today mean 200,000 more people will not have to pay stamp duty at all. This is a permanent reduction in stamp duty, effective today.”
But Mr Kwarteng also revealed that the two-year utility bill bailout could cost an eye-watering £60bn in the first six months of next month.
He told parliament: “The estimated cost of our energy plans is particularly uncertain given volatile energy prices, but based on recent prices, the total cost of the energy package for the six months from October is expected to be around £60 billion.”
“We expect costs to come down as we negotiate new, long-term energy contracts with suppliers.”