"We will look at the detail, though notwithstanding the challenge of framing legislation to make it happen, this idea has no merit.
"We would remind the Chancellor that 'white cider' represents around 0.27% of total alcohol and is in long-term decline. And whilst all products are capable of being misused, the vast majority of 'white cider' is enjoyed by people on low incomes without issue.
"On the issue of alcohol misuse then the frontline professionals supporting people in crisis reject the targeting of specific products as it merely displaces misuse and might even make matters worse. We shared this independent research with the Treasury as part of the consultation process.
"What this action will mean is that the vast majority of 'white cider' consumers - not the Chancellor and his friends perhaps - will be disproportionately penalised. Typically lower-income households, these 'Just About Managing' (JAMs) are lower per capita alcohol consumers.
"Either they will forgo enjoying a drink or they will simply switch to another category. When drinkers switch from cider they choose higher strength wines and spirits - products that are in most instances imported with a significant carbon footprint.
"We have just finished a record harvest and made the first payments to local growers on new orchards that will exceed £55m over the next 25 years and this action clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding of the challenges we face.
"Our investment plans are measured in decades so we needed a sensible and long-term approach to duty and this is far from that."
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