Tax on beer, cider and spirits will be frozen for the next year - but the price of a packet of cigarettes will continue to rise.
Chancellor Philip Hammond's Budget speech today saw duty on beer, cider and spirits frozen for the next year, saving 2p on a pint of beer, 1p on a pint of cider, and 30p on a bottle of Scotch or gin.
But tax on wine will rise in line with inflation, while strong white ciders will be taxed at a new higher rate, and the tax on tobacco will continue to rise at two per cent above inflation.
Tax on petrol and diesel will be frozen for the ninth successive year, while the amount workers are allowed to earn before paying income tax will rise to £12,500 and the higher rate threshold to £50,000 from April , with both to be linked to inflation from 2021/22.
Mr Hammond said the income tax threshold changes would amount to a tax cut for 32million people, putting £130 a year in the pocket of a typical basic rate taxpayer, meaning 1.7 million have been out of tax altogether and nearly 1 million out of higher rate tax since 2015.
From April 2019, the National Living Wage will rise by 4.9%, from £7.83 to £8.21 an hour.
The chancellor also announced a tax on the manufacture and import of plastic packaging which contains less than 30% recycled plastic.
He told MPs that 'austerity is finally coming to an end' as he hailed a significant improvement in public finances.
The Chancellor said the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) expected 'resilient' growth over the coming years.
In the final scheduled Budget before Brexit, Mr Hammond announced am extra £500million for preparations.
And he hinted that an emergency Budget could take place in the spring, adding: "If the economic or fiscal outlook changes materially in-year I reserve the right to upgrade the Spring Statement to a full fiscal event".
Mr Hammond said his Budget was aimed at helping 'the strivers, the grafters and the carers' and would pave the way for a 'brighter future.'
On Brexit, he said the UK was reaching a "pivotal moment" in the negotiations and said that a "deal dividend" would provide a boost to the economy if an agreement with Brussels could be reached.
He promised extra funding for health and social care - confirming extra cash for mental health services and £650 million for English councils struggling to cope with rising care bills.
Schools in England will be handed £400 million, an average of 10,000 per primary school and £50,000 for secondary schools.
And a £420million fund will help local highway authorities repair potholes and carry out other maintenance tasks.
Today’s announcements for the North East include:
*£16.5 million for the Tees Valley Combined Authority through the Transforming Cities fund to improve inter-city transport links – benefitting passengers, commuters and motorists across the region;
*A £90million ‘Future Mobility Zones’ fund available for areas to trial revolutionary new transport, including self-driving shuttles, digital payments and e-bikes;
*Up to £37 million to support the development of Northern Powerhouse Rail to connect cities across the North with faster, more frequent services;
*Up to £14 million of capital funding to drive growth and bring jobs to the former SSI Redcar steelworks site through the establishment of a Special Economic Area
*£1 million across the country to improve access to flood information, including an expansion to the flood warning system to an additional c.1,600 at-risk properties in the North East.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn labelled the Budget a 'broken promise Budget': "What we've heard today are half measures and quick fixes while austerity grinds on.
"And far from people's hard work and sacrifices having paid off, as the Chancellor claims, this Government has frittered it away in ideological tax cuts to the richest in our society."
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Dame Vera Baird QC condemned the Chancellor's failure to provide more police funding, with Home Secretary Sajid Javid to carry out a review of police spending: "Ironically, Home Office questions were immediately before the Chancellor's speech and his budget has done absolutely nothing to support policing. Austerity continues to be felt in every police station, by those on the frontline to those dealing with newer, emerging crimes such a cybercrime and child sexual exploitation.
"This budget was the ideal opportunity for the Chancellor to give forces like Northumbria the resources needed to deliver the services expected by local residents now. I am working hard to maintain neighbourhood policing, I had hoped that the Chancellor would have made extra money available to recruit more police officers - he didn’t.
"The tide hasn’t turned, the cuts are continuing – despite the Prime Minister’s belief that austerity is ending, we see no light at the end of the tunnel.
"The Chancellor has failed today, so it is up to others to sort this Tory funding mess. I am calling upon the Home Secretary to bring together a cross party group that will focus on devising a fair funding formula, that ensures forces like Northumbria who have received the biggest reduction in funding from government are at the table.
" I stand ready to serve on this group, to ensure a fair and transparent funding package is delivered that puts our communities first."
Professor Lawrence Bellamy Academic Dean, Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism at the University of Sunderland, said "The Budget did provide some benefits for small firms. These are the backbone of the British economy and need to be nurtured.
"National Insurance, investment taxation threshold up to £1million, fuel duty freeze and lower fees contribution for apprenticeships are a mixture of controlling costs and tentative encouragement for investment in skills and facilities.
Retail, which continues to suffer from Internet shopping and consumer habits can benefit from structural investment in towns and cities of £675million total and lower rates for small shops.
"This will help a few areas on the edge with good planning. However this represents a small sum in relation to the seismic shift in the sector required to realign with the new ways of trading.
"Infrastructure investment did not address the specific needs of regions with headline projects. Bold strokes are required and a little more of the same won't be enough to drive growth. However, the detail is yet to be revealed and the cited £420million for potholes only represents a treatment of a previous problem.
"The Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine and increased investment was noted, with intentions to support R&D and particular areas to assist productivity. However, for the North East, hen further specific commitments would have been helpful to address the manufacturing confidence issues surrounding the Brexit uncertainties.
"Overall the budget helpfully acknowledged the areas which are of concern; skills, infrastructure, regional challenges, retail and small firms, but does not represent a fundamental shift for any, it’s a relatively small ‘giveaway’."