Scrumpy-loving Wurzels in tax gripe
Britain's best-known cider drinkers The Wurzels were spluttering into their scrumpy after their beloved brew was targeted in Chancellor Alistair Darling's Budget.
The West Country hitmakers, who scored hit singles in 1976 with I Am A Cider Drinker and Combine Harvester, said they were being "unfairly penalised" by a tax hike.
Duty on cider will increase by 10% above inflation under the plans.
The band - noted for performing with twine around their trousers - said: "We are all very upset that scrumpy cider, being one of the few pleasures that we cherish down here on the farm in the West Country, is being hit by such a tax rise."
In a statement, Tom Banner and Pete Budd of the group, who have performed yokel-style versions of well-known tunes for a number of novelty hits, continued: "We all realise that, in these current times, we have to tighten the string on our trousers, but we must admit that having to cut down on this local favourite leaves us feeling that we are being unfairly penalised."
Regarding the Chancellor, they said: "We'll tell him something, he won't be the Darling bud of our May.
"We would like offer our 50 years of experience of cider drinking and of playing within a cider community to the government in an advisory capacity.
"And the public can assured that we would obviously register our interests in cider before any lobbying commenced."
The Wurzels, who have a new album A Load More Bullocks out in June, are due to play Glastonbury Festival this summer.