The changes to the alcohol duties regime in today’s budget will be welcomed by most beer and wine drinkers and the hospitality industry in general.

However, while these changes will result in a small reduction to wine and beer prices – particularly in our pubs – through the reduction in alcohol duties, the reality is that this drop in alcohol duties will not be seen by the general public.  Rather, costs in beer, cider, and wine prices in pubs, will increase because of the 6.6% increase in the National Minimum Wage and the already announced increase in employer NIC charges to 15.05% from April 2023.

–          Robert Salter, Director, Blick Rothenberg

There were no changes announced to Stamp Duty Land Tax. The tax bands, rates and reliefs will continue to operate unchanged. Next year’s charges for the tax’s cousin, the annual tax on enveloped dwellings, were published, but they merely track inflation and were expected. Those hoping for major changes to the tax, another “holiday” from it, a new relief for zero-carbon homes or new tax rules for shared-ownership schemes, will have to wait.

–          Sean Randall, Stamp Duty Partner, Blick Rothenberg


Legislation is expected to be published in two days’ time formally designating the eight sites that will qualify for tax reliefs for businesses investing in freeports. More legislation is expected in November to “switch on” the tax reliefs. The tax reliefs include an enhanced capital allowance, a full relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax and full business rates relief. This announcement is only an update to the timing of the freeport tax site designation process. Provision was made in this year’s Finance Act for the reliefs.

–          Sean Randall, Stamp Duty Partner, Blick Rothenberg

The Government has reiterated its commitment to clamping down on promoters of tax avoidance schemes, an area which has proved to have significant problems in the past, not least because many of the promoters are based offshore. The announcement that a new penalty will be introduced in Finance Bill 2021-2022 on UK entities supporting promoters is therefore welcome, since it should mean that it is less easy for promoters to bring their products to the attention of the UK public.

It is also helpful that the Finance Bill will contain measures to share more information with the general public to enable taxpayers to recognise avoidance schemes and steer clear of them. Previously there has been a lack of readily available information and many taxpayers have become involved in such schemes thinking that they were wholly legitimate – based purely on what the promoters have told them.

–          Fiona Fernie, Partner, Blick Rothenberg