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SWA welcomes UK alcohol tax review

Published:  08 November, 2019

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has welcomed the Conservative pledge to review tax paid on a bottle of whisky.

The PM said the Conservatives would look to “develop a system which provides better support for domestic drink producers”.

Visiting a distillery in Moray, Johnson said a review of alcohol duties would be included in the party’s election manifesto.

Welcoming the pledge, SWA chief executive Karen Betts said: “Reform of alcohol duty has been a long term goal of the Scotch whisky industry and is our number one ask of all political parties in the General Election.

“The announcement opens the door to reforming a broken system in which large inconsistencies between alcohol categories put Scotch whisky and the wider UK spirits industry at a competitive disadvantage.”

A simplified alcohol duty regime in the UK to better reflect alcohol content would be fairer for consumers, increase competitiveness and remain an “important driver of tax revenue to support public services”, she added.

“Of course, the devil is in the detail and we look forward to working with HM Treasury officials on our detailed proposals submitted ahead of the Budget to ensure we have an alcohol tax system fit for the 21st century.”

Earlier this week, Johnson urged US President Donald Trump to lift tariffs on Scotch whisky.

Johnson’s plea, which formed part of a discussion between the two leaders about the future of US trade policy, followed concerns that the newly imposed US tax could wipe £1bn off single malt sales over the next year.