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Scotch duty cut 'would boost economy'

Published:  08 February, 2009

Economists say that a 2.5% cut in duty on Scotch whisky would boost the Scottish economy by £733m.

The figure is more than double the £320m that the recent VAT cut is reckoned to have added to the economy. Economic consultants Gen said the £733m figure would come from increased sales at home and also more investment and export activity.

Gen director Richard Marsh told the Sunday Herald: "Although it is not proposed that government should, or could, issue a £1 billion cut in duties to the whisky industry, our research shows they would definitely get greater return for their money by supporting this sector with some cuts.

"Whisky is the industry with the most potential to benefit the Scottish economy. It is our belief that channelling tax cuts directly to the hugely productive and successful Scotch whisky industry would in theory be worth more to Scotland's economy than a major capital investment programme."

The report was welcomed by the Scotch Whisky Association.