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28-02-2010, 17:00
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The Sunday Telegraph reports that, in the forthcoming budget, Alistair Darling is planning to increase alcohol duties by even more than the swingeing “alcohol duty escalator”, with the potential of a staggering £8 a bottle rise in the duty on spirits (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/budget/7331997/Budget-2010-Drinkers-face-rise-in-spirits-duty.html). Of course, that won’t happen, but it’s not hard to see a £2 a bottle increase. I’m sure the pensioners who enjoy a nightcap of Tesco’s own brand Scotch will appreciate that. Any above-inflation duty increase will also be yet another kick in the teeth for the beleaguered pub trade. I wonder what the risible Minister for Pubs (http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/news.ma/article/85867) will have to say about that. Well, I don’t actually, it will be nothing.

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