The chancellor has announced a series of alcohol duty cuts in the last Budget before the General Election in May.

George Osborne has cut beer duty by 1p per pint for the third year running, while cider and sprits duties will be reduced by 2% and wine duty will be frozen. The changes will come into effect on March 23.

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said: “The reductions in alcohol duty rates are a welcome measure, as alcohol is an important category in convenience stores. With lower duty rates alongside the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme and renewed focus from HMRC, we are at last seeing progress in tackling the damaging illegal alcohol trade.”

Osborne also cancelled the fuel duty rise scheduled for September and cut corporation tax to 20%, making it “one of the lowest rates in the world”.

National Insurance for apprentices will be abolished, while the personal tax allowance will rise to £10,800 next year, which would be good news for the “13,000+ working 30 or more hours a week in local shops,” Lowman tweeted.