Cider tax put on hold

Cider tax put on hold

A controversial 13% tax hike on cider is to be dropped from the UK Government's agenda due to a lack of Parliamentary time in the run-up to a General Election in the country.

Cider makers and consumers reacted angrily two weeks ago to Chancellor Alistair Darling's decision to raise cider tax by 10% above inflation in the 2010 UK Budget. Inflation stands at 3%.

However, the tax hike will be suspended after Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday (6 April) called a General Election for 6 May.

Cider tax is one of several bills that will be lost in the so-called 'wash-up', the period when the Government attempts to tie up as much unfinished legislation as possible before the dissolution of Parliament on 12 April.

The Labour Government has said it will reintroduce the tax if it regains power.

However, the main opposition party, the Conservative Party, has said it opposes a blanket tax rise on all cider.