Beer, wines and spirits duty frozen smokers are hit

Hard-pressed working families got some Budget respite from Chancellor Philip Hammond.

The by-now customer freezing of duty on petrol and diesel was continued, while tax on beer, wine, cider and spirits was also maintained at current levels.

Smokers were hit once again with an inflation plus 2% increase in duty, meaning the cost of cigarettes will rise by about 6%.

The personal income tax allowance rose to £1,850, which means the typical worker will pay £1,075 less tax that they were doing in 2010/11 said Hammond.

Meanwhile the national living wage will rise from £7.40 to £7.83 per hour from April, giving low-paid full-time workers a pay increase of £600 a year.

At the other end of the scale, the higher rate tax threshold is to rise to £46,350 from April.

The Chancellor also announced a new rail card for people aged between 26 and 30 which will cut their travel costs by a third.

In a further attempt to relieve pressure on the family purse, air duty was frozen for 95% of passengers.

And for struggling households a £1.5bn package to resolve concerns about the universal credit payments was announced.

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