The government has been forced to scrap its “supertax” on cider, abandoning plans to raise duty 13% - 10% above inflation. The reprieve for cider makers was forced through by the Conservatives. The tax rise, which took place five days after last month’s Budget, will now be scrapped and prices lowered on June 30. The duty increase on cider will revert to a 2%-above-inflation (5%) increase on the pre-Budget level, the same as beer. The Conservatives forced the reversal during “wash up”, the process at the end of Parliament, where only outstanding measures that have cross-party agreement can reach the statute books. The opposition party had threatened to hold up the finance bill until the cider duty plan was scrapped. They also prevented two other tax rises: a tax on phones and the proposal to scrap tax relief for furnished holiday letters, which were due to come into force. While the Tories themselves suggested a punitive tax on super-strength ciders last November, they said they were concerned that Labour’s levy would also have hit regular strengths of cider.