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SWA calls on Chancellor to support Scotch

Published:  11 October, 2018

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has called on the government not to increase excise duty in the Autumn Budget.

The latest plea follows a poll that showed 58% of Scots believe an increase would show that the UK government “doesn’t care” about the future Scotland.

In addition, 68% of the population considered the present level of taxation to be unfair, according to the SWA commissioned Survation survey.

Freezing duty on Scotch Whisky would underscore the UK government's commitment to supporting Scotland’s vibrant, world-leading whisky industry, said SWA chief executive Karen Betts.

“Scotch Whisky producers are working hard to continue to boost already record levels of exports, invest in communities across Scotland, and generate billions for the Scottish economy and to ensure our industry remains competitive as uncertainty over Brexit persists, we are urging the UK government to deliver a freeze in this year’s Budget,” she said.

New economic analysis conducted by the Centre for Economic and Business Research, had shown by continuing to freeze spirits duty, the Chancellor could grow revenue by an additional £64 million in 2019/20 and by almost £200 million by 2021, she added.

The freeze on spirits excise duty announced by the Chancellor in November 2017 delivered almost £2 billion for the Treasury in the period February to August – a 9.1% (£163 million) increase on revenues during the same period in 2017, according to the SWA.

Currently £3 in every £4 spent on the average priced bottle of Scotch Whisky in the UK goes directly to the Treasury in taxation.