Karen Betts

Continued duty freeze on Scotch Whisky welcomed by industry

29 Oct 2018

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has welcomed the Chancellor's decision to continue the freeze on spirits duty in the 2018 Autumn Budget.

The duty rate on spirits remains £28.74 per litre of pure alcohol. Of the £14.15 average price of a bottle of Scotch Whisky, £10.41 is collected in taxation through excise duty and VAT.

The tax burden remains at 74%, or £3 in every £4 spent on the average priced bottle of Scotch in the UK being tax.

Politicians from across the UK and Scottish Parliaments had backed the industry's campaign to continue the duty freeze, which has boosted industry investment and increased government revenue.

Karen Betts, SWA Chief Executive, said:

"The Chancellor has made the right decision for the public finances, the industry and for consumers.

"The continuation of the duty freeze is a very welcome show of support for the Scotch Whisky industry, which plays an important role in the UK and Scottish economies and which is one of the UK's most successful exporters.

"Time after time, the industry has shown that a stable rate of tax both boosts government revenue to help support vital public services and creates an environment which encourages investment in future growth.

"We have welcomed the support shown to the industry by the politicians from across the UK and the political spectrum who have backed our campaign and have stood up for the industry and the communities it supports. We welcome too the sound course set today by the Chancellor, which supports the industry's global competitiveness, nurtures growth and backs jobs and investment.

"However, the Scotch Super Tax remains, with £3 in every £4 spent on the average priced bottle of Scotch in the UK still collected in taxation, and a significant disparity between what consumers pay in tax on Scotch and other alcoholic products.

"HM Treasury should move quickly to begin detailed discussions with the industry about long-term reform of the UK's alcohol tax regime."


Notes to Editors: An average priced bottle of Scotch Whisky is £14.15. Of this total, excise duty is £8.05, VAT is £2.36, making total tax £10.41.