Beer, wine, spirits and cigarettes will all cost more but low polluting cars will cost less under the Budget released today by Chancellor Alistair Darling.

The cost of a pint of beer will go up 4p come Sunday, while wine will go up by 14p and spirits by 55p a bottle.

The cost of a pack of 20 cigarettes will rise by 11p from 6pm tonight.

But in what Mr Darling is pushing as a "green Budget", buyers of low polluting cars will not have to pay their first year of road tax.

Cars that produce less than 130g/km of CO2 will get their first year free of tax. But the saving will be made up by owners of higher polluting cars, who will be stung with more tax.

He also announced another 0.5p per litre would go on fuel from next year to pay for green initatives.

But citing economic uncertainty, Mr Darling said the 2p a litre due in April would be postponed until October.

In other spending, Mr Darling said defence would get an extra £2billion, of which £900milliion would go on equipment.

There will also be a rise in the pension fuel allowance, going from £200 to £250 for the elderly. The over-80s will receive £400, up from £300.

Mr Darling said he would also set up a think tank to find out how the length of fixed rate home loans could be extended from the current two to three years to 10 to 20 years, helping first time home buyers.

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