§ Mr. Callaghan
Finally, I come back to indirect taxation. As I am anxious to avoid taxing necessities, I have decided that tobacco and alcoholic drinks should make a further contribution.
I propose to raise the duties on tobacco by 10s. a lb. This will mean an increase of 6d. in the price of the packet of 20 plain cigarettes, which now sells at 4s. 11d.; and 5d. for 20 on most other cigarettes, except the packets of small filter-tipped which now sell at 3s. 2d., where the increase will be 4d.
I propose to raise the duty on spirits by £1 14s. 6d. a proof gallon. This increase will be equivalent to 4s. on a bottle of whisky or gin. I propose to increase the wine duties by 6s. a gallon for fortified wines and 3s. a gallon for table wines, equivalent to Is. and 6d. a bottle respectively. There will be consequential alteration's in the duties on British wine. I propose to raise the beer duty by Id. a pint.
All these increases in duty will come into force tomorrow. I congratulate hon. Members on their forbearance.
These increases may well result in some falling-off of consumption, especially, I think, of tobacco. After allowing for this, I estimate that the additional revenue in a full year will be £127 million: that is, £75 million from tobacco, £19½ million from spirits, £6½ million from wines and £26 million from beer. The revenue in the current year will be slightly less, at about £123 million.