§ I turn next to duties on tobacco. The Government are committed to reducing smoking. I continue to believe that higher tax is the most effective and fair means of doing so.
Last year I said that I intended to increase tobacco duties by at least 3 per cent. in real terms on average a year. I intend to stick to that commitment today.
Tax on cigarettes will therefore increase by 10p on a packet of 20 from 6 o'clock tonight. Duty on other tobacco products will go up by a similar proportion.