A potential U-turn on alcohol tax rises has fallen flat on its face after the government has failed to support amendments to the Finance Bill. The proposed changes to the regulation would have required the Treasury to give reasons for the tax increases and outline the economic impact for the industry. The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has criticised the government for not being clear about their motives behind the duty hikes and called the increases opportunistic revenue-raising. Nick Bish, chief executive of ALMR, said: “First, the government jumped on the bandwagon and let it be reported that the duty rises were designed to tackle binge drinking. “Then, knowing that they would not have this effect, they cynically tried to link the escalator to winter fuel payments and child poverty - even though the Treasury states it never earmarks taxes. “Like the government’s sums, this just doesn’t add up. The Chancellor needs to own up that this is just opportunistic revenue-raising to cover some of his fiscal black hole.” Angela Eagle, the treasury minister told the Finance Bill Committee that the government kept the effects of duty rises under constant review.