The cider rebellion

Darling outrages cider drinkers with 10 per cent rise in duty.

The cider drinkers are rebelling. Within minutes of Alistair Darling announcing in the Budget that cider duty will rise by 10 per cent from midnight on Sunday, a Facebook group was set up attacking the measure.

The group, Leave Our Cider Alone!, already has 80 members, despite Darling's insistence that the change was designed to address a "long-standing anomaly".

But others take a more pragmatic view. On Twitter, the radio presenter Richard Bacon tweeted: "Help bring down the deficit. Drink lots of cider."

Given that the deficit is still forecast to be £167bn, we'd better get drinking.

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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