RISHI Sunak is set to slash taxes on English sparkling wine and some beers as part of a huge post-Brexit overhaul of booze rates.
Allies of Mr Sunak say he thinks the system is outdated and too complicated.
After a year-long review, he is mulling making a sweetener announcement around alcohol prices in the Autumn Budget next week.
It would mean wine – which is often taxed much higher and hits female drinkers harder – would likely see a cut, but cheap cider may rise.
Sparkling wine in particular bears the brunt of Treasury penalties, but bringing them in line could see 83p knocked off a bottle.
English sparkling wine has boomed in recent years and its popularity soared, but critics say it is hampered by unfair premiums.
These may be ditched altogether under plans being eyed up, putting sparkling wine on a par with other types of vino.
It will also hopefully give a leg up to Brit winemakers competing with products from overseas, such as champagne and prosecco.
Over the past decade, wine drinkers have paid £4.6 billion more in duty than beer drinkers.
Duty on wine has increased by 39 per cent compared to just 16 per cent for beer since 2010.
The respected Institute for Fiscal Studies has long championed replacing the current system with a two-tier structure instead of the current 15-band system.
It says spirits should be taxed higher, and it could even lead to more returns for the treasury.
Duties on cider have remained frozen since 2017 – but the cost could climb under the new budget as the Treasury attempt to balance the books.
The Treasury refused to comment on tax speculation ahead of the Budget.