Tories pledge to tax alcopops instead of normal strength cider

By Sandamali Zbyszewski

The Conservatives launched counter-measures to Labour’s proposed ten per cent tax-rise on cider today.

The tax rise which had been introduced in the Budget was successfully blocked from taking effect this month by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats during the wash-up period.

Speaking at Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm in Truro, shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Today, we are launching local campaigns to get Labour to scrap their ten per cent cider tax. Last week they bowed to our pressure to stop the tax taking effect this month, yet they’ve pledged to go ahead and impose it in June if they form the next Government.

“Our plans to tax alcopops and the strongest of mass-produced cider won’t punish those who enjoy cider responsibly but will curb binge drinking. Labour’s approach doesn’t begin to solve this problem.

“Labour’s cider tax is a harsh and unfair tax on cider makers and responsible cider drinkers. The Conservative party is the only party committed to fighting this tax.”

The Conservative are expected to raise revenue by targeting problem drinking instead, taxing super-strength beers and ciders as well as alcopops which are notoriously appealing to underage drinkers.

The Conservative party estimates that these tax duties will raise £80 million of additional revenue per year. A sum which, according to them, will dwarf the £15 million raised through Labour’s tax on normal cider.