Alcohol and tobacco duties
The duty rates will be frozen for:
- duty rates on beer
- duty rates on spirits and other drinks above 22% alcohol by volume (abv)
- duty rates on still cider and perry, and lower strength sparkling cider and perry.
The duty rates on wine and made-wine at or below 22% abv, and high strength sparkling cider above 5.5% abv will rise by RPI inflation from 1 February 2019.
The duty rate on all tobacco products will continue to increase by 2% above RPI inflation. It was also announced that hand-rolling tobacco will rise by an additional 1%, to 3% above RPI inflation this year. The new tobacco duty rates will have effect from 6pm on 29 October 2018.
Air Passenger Duty (APD)
The long haul rates of APD for the tax year 2020/21 will increase in line with the RPI as forecast at Autumn Budget 2018. Short haul rates will not rise.
Previous plans for the Scottish government to replace APD with Air Departure Tax have been deferred, pending the resolution of issues relating to the exemption for flights departing from the Highlands and Islands.
Fuel duty will be frozen for the 2019/20 tax year.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and first-time buyers relief
As from 22 November 2017, first-time buyers in England and Northern Ireland paying £300,000 or less for a residential property pay no SDLT. First-time buyers paying between £300,000 and £500,000 pay SDLT at 5% on the amount of the purchase price in excess of £300,000.
This Budget announced an extension to first-time buyers relief in England and Northern Ireland so that all qualifying shared ownership property purchasers can benefit, whether or not the purchaser elects to pay SDLT on the market value of the property. This change will apply to relevant transactions with an effective date on or after 29 October 2018, and will also be backdated to 22 November 2017 so that those eligible who have not previously claimed first-time buyers relief will be able to amend their return to claim a refund.