Alcoholic drinks

The excise duty on spirits, cider and sparkling wine is frozen. The duty on beer and still wine is increased in line with inflation, adding 1p to a pint of beer and to a standard 175ml glass of wine. The new rates come into effect from midnight on 13 April 2003.

The reduced rates scheme for small breweries remains unchanged.

Tobacco products

Tobacco duties are increased in line with inflation with effect from 6pm on Budget day.

Fuel duties

Due to the recent high and volatile level of oil prices, increases in vehicle fuel duties have been deferred until October 2003. If the current international uncertainties and volatility continue, no increases will be made at all.

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED)

VED rates for lorries and motor cycles have been frozen. For cars and vans, rates will increase from 1 May 2003 by £5. In addition a new VED rate of £55 will be introduced for cars with CO2 emissions below 100gm/km.


As announced in last year’s Budget and again in the November 2002 Pre-Budget Report, the government will be abolishing the tax on bingo stakes with effect from 4 August 2003 and replacing it with a gross profits duty of 15% on bingo promoters.

Landfill tax

The rate is increased from £13 to £14 per tonne with effect from 1 April 2003 and to £15 per tonne with effect from 1 April 2004. The intention is to consider raising the rate by £3 per tonne in 2005 and by at least £3 per tonne in later years on the way to a long-term rate of £35 per tonne.

The lower rate for inactive waste remains at £2 per tonne.