Cutting the duty paid on whisky and gin would lead to an overall increase in revenues and help boost the economy, according to a think tank co-founded by Margaret Thatcher.

A report by the Centre for Policy Studies identifies the alcohol duty on spirits as a key levy that the Government can cut to “help family finances.”

Currently, drinkers can pay more than £10 in alcohol duty and VAT on a £14 bottle of spirit, and charities are lobbying for the tax to be increased further, on health grounds.

But Nick King, the Centre for Policy Studies’ head of business, said past spirits duty freezes had led to increased exports and investment for the UK.

The Alcohol Change UK charity insists that an increase in taxes is needed to reduce the consumption of alcohol in the country, at a time when rates of alcohol-related illness, injury and death are “stubbornly high”.

But a spokesman for the UK Spirits Alliance said: “Lowering spirits duty has proven to deliver more jobs, more cash for the Treasury and economic growth across the country. In his new role as he approaches his first Budget, the Chancellor can show his support for this British success story by beginning to reduce the duty burden and backing our vital sector in the forthcoming duty review”.

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