Scotch Whisky industry meets with Treasury Minister on 77% tax burden
23 Feb 2017
SWA makes case for 2% excise cut in March
Cut likely to lead to increase in spirits revenue for
The Scotch Whisky industry today met with the Treasury in
advance of the UK Budget on 8 March to put its case for a 2% cut in
Representatives from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) met the
Financial Secretary to HM Treasury, Jane Ellison MP, to discuss the
pressures on the industry caused by the 77% tax burden on the price
of an average bottle of Scotch.
The SWA has issued a call to action to 'Stand up for Scotch'. As
well as being fair on the industry and consumers, government
figures show that a cut in excise boosts the public purse.
Following the 2% cut in spirits duty in March 2015, spirits revenue
in 2015/16 increased by £123 million to £3.15 billion. Spirits
revenue is now £155m a year higher than when the alcohol duty
escalator was scrapped in 2014.
As the largest net contributor to the UK's balance of trade in
goods, Scotch Whisky is vital to the economy and a truly global
drink. The SWA says that during a time of change created by Brexit,
the industry needs a supportive domestic tax environment. A 2% cut
in excise would be a move in the right direction, as would steps
towards excise duty fairness in future Budgets.
A cut would also give relief to consumers who are currently
paying a high level of tax to enjoy a dram. People who choose
Scotch Whisky pay 51% more duty than beer drinkers, 19% more than
wine drinkers and 327% more than cider consumer per unit of
alcohol. The SWA believes this is unfair on responsible drinkers of
David Williamson, public affairs director at the Scotch Whisky
"We had a constructive discussion with the Financial Secretary,
highlighting that a cut in excise is likely to increase spirits
revenue to the government, as well as boost distillers, large and
small. We hope the Government will listen to the evidence by
cutting excise on spirits by 2% to grow the public finances and
reduce the onerous 77% tax burden on Scotch.
"A fair and competitive domestic tax environment is also an
important part of the Brexit jigsaw, ensuring a strategically
important industry like Scotch Whisky is well placed to invest and
grow in the future."
The SWA's Budget submission is available to view or download
For more information please contact SWA head of communications
Rosemary Gallagher on 0131 222 9230/07432 605385 or email firstname.lastname@example.org