Budget 2021: The winners and losers – from Universal Credit to drivers and drinkers

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has presented his budget and expenditure overview for the autumn to the House of Commons – but not everyone will be a winner according to his plans.

It includes several guidelines that will put both more and less money in the pockets of households.

Universal loan beneficiaries who are working and people who drink certain alcoholic beverages are likely to benefit – while drivers and smokers are the losers, the Spiegel has Reports.

Mr Sunak promised a significant increase in Whitehall budgets, tax cuts for businesses and investments to create a “new economy” based on high skills and wages after the pandemic.

But Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer, who missed budget after testing positive for coronavirus, accused the Chancellor of “doing nothing about the cost of living crisis”.

Here are the likely winners and losers of Budget 2021:



The cost of beer and sparkling wine goes down, but the stronger a drink, the higher it is taxed.

It means a pint of Stella Artois will drop in a pub by 3pm when it costs £ 3.80 now.

Meanwhile, a bottle of Blossom Hill Rosé costs 12p less, from £ 8 to £ 7.88.

Lower strength spirits such as Baileys and Malibu will also benefit, with tax rates cut by 41p and 50p per bottle, respectively.

The tax rates will also be largely reduced for premixed spirits cans and mixers that are sold in stores.

Red wine producers and drinkers are a major loser as the changes adversely affect wines with high alcohol content.

The tariff change will result in a £ 7 bottle of Hardy’s VR Merlot being increased by around 5% with a 35p tax increase.

A 75 cl bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva will see a tax increase of around 47 pence, the Treasury Department said.

The changes will also have a big impact on the price of popular fortified wines.

The reforms are expected to come into force in February 2023.

Universal loan applicants – if they are employed

Universal Credit will be made more generous for around 1.9 million working British families, Rishi Sunak said in a budget turnaround.

The Chancellor confirmed a reduction in the taper tariff from 63p to 55p – a significantly more dramatic cut than the expected 60p rate.

The taper rate is the amount of universal credit deducted for every pound an applicant earns through work.

And the work allowance – the amount some applicants can earn before the reduction kicks in – is increased by £ 500 per year.

The £ 2 billion a year change – which is beyond what DWP ministers are asking – will allow many job applicants to keep 45p instead of 37p of every additional pound they earn.


Motorists were helped when a proposed fuel tax hike was lifted today.

The Chancellor will tax 57.95 pence per liter of fuel for the 12th year in a row after pump prices shot up.



The price of a pack of cigarettes rose in all retailers on Wednesday (October 27) from 6 p.m. onwards.

The duty rate on cigarettes has increased by the RPI inflation rate plus 2%.

The rolled tobacco rate will also increase by RPI inflation plus 6%.


Vacationers are paying more for long-haul flights as part of a massive adjustment to the passenger tax, said the Chancellor.

From April 2023, a new ultra-long-haul band will come into effect for flights over 5,500 miles with an economy fare of £ 91.

It would affect far-flung destinations like South Africa, Australia and Japan and add around £ 4 per long haul flight.

But taxes on domestic flights will be cut by 50%, the Chancellor confirmed – which means cheaper prices if you fly within the UK.

Small businesses – and their employees

The Chancellor confirmed that the national living wage will rise from £ 8.72 an hour to £ 9.50, which is a significant increase.

The national living wage has been renamed the minimum wage since 2016.

However, small business owners have warned that rising wages are causing some to be forced to lay off employees.

Savers and Homeowners

The Chancellor warned that inflation should rise to 4% – which means pressure on the cost of living for millions of families.

The Budgetary Responsibility Office expects the CPI inflation rate to rise from 3.1% in September to 4% next year.

This means that store prices will continue to rise and the Bank of England’s first major hike in base rates – and therefore mortgage rates – in more than a decade is looming.

It’s also bad news for savers as inflation erodes the value of their cash pots unless they find deals with interest rates that exceed them.

While savings rates are rising, they are all below 3.1% inflation, and none come anywhere near 4%.

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