Chancellor Alistair Darling is expected to raise duty on spirits in next week's Budget.

The increase will be the first since 1997 and is part of the government's attempts to combat binge drinking, according to the Independent.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party has said a Conservative government would increase taxes on ready-to-drink brands by 50p and increase tax on super-strength ciders and lagers to tackle binge drinking.

“This package does not hit the vast majority of law-abiding responsible drinkers,” said Shadow Chancellor George Osbourne. “Instead we are making it much more expensive to buy super-strength lagers, ciders and alcopops, and using the extra revenue to cut taxes on low-alcohol drinks.”