Scotch Whisky industry welcomes excise duty freeze, but says more support needed

22 Nov 2017

Scotch Whisky industry welcomes excise duty freeze, but says more support needed

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) welcomes the UK Government's decision to freeze excise duty on spirits in today's Budget, which helps support the competitiveness of Scotch Whisky.

The freeze is a show of support for a major UK manufacturing industry and its supply chain, and for the 40,000 jobs Scotch Whisky supports across the UK. 

However, a cut would have provided a bigger boost for consumers, the industry and public finances.  Plus, the industry's competitiveness would have been boosted, which is vital as it turns the challenges of Brexit into opportunities.

As a result of today's freeze, tax - VAT and excise duty - on an average priced bottle of Scotch Whisky in the UK remains at 80%. This means more than £10 on a bottle goes straight to the Treasury.

Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: "We welcome the freeze in excise duty on spirits, which helps support the competitiveness of Scotch - a major UK export - in uncertain times. My thanks go to all MPs and MSPs who have supported Scotch and helped convince the Chancellor that a second duty rise in 2017 would have hurt the industry and consumers.

"But tax on Scotch is still very high. £4 in every £5 spent on Scotch goes to the Treasury, and we believe this is a missed opportunity.  We believe a cut would have delivered more revenues to the government as well as underscoring government support for an important UK manufacturing industry, which supports 40,000 jobs across the UK."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

An average priced bottle of Scotch Whisky is £12.77. Of this total, excise duty is £8.05, VAT is £2.13, making total tax £10.18, while the margin left for packaging, marketing, logistics and administration is £2.59.

With media queries please contact SWA head of communications Rosemary Gallagher, 0131 222 9230/07432 605385.