SWA calls on politicians to 'Support Scotch'
08 May 2017
Scotch Whisky Association publishes election
With exactly a month to go until the nation votes in the UK
General Election, politicians are being asked to stand up for a
Great British and Scottish industry by showing their support for
In its manifesto published today, the Scotch Whisky Association
(SWA) is calling on all political parties and candidates to
The SWA says industry success must not be taken for granted and
that such backing is vital for a sector that makes a substantial
contribution to the UK economy and society. Scotch Whisky adds
almost £5 billion a year in value; generates more than £4bn in
exports; supports more than 40,000 jobs and spends £1.7bn on its
largely UK-based supply chain.
The trade body has set out six manifesto pledges to boost the
Scotch Whisky industry:
- Advocate for review of the excise duty system and fairer tax
for Scotch - to address the punitive near-80% tax on an average
priced bottle of whisky, the SWA believes there is an urgent need
for reform to introduce a fairer system that taxes all alcoholic
drinks on the same basis according to alcohol content.
- Support Scotch exports by delivering on the industry's Brexit
priorities through ambitious trade deals and robust IP protection -
with Scotch shipments worth more than a fifth of total UK food and
drink exports, the Government should support this overseas success
to encourage even more growth. Scotch should be an integral part of
any food and drink promotion, with the success of the industry a
litmus test of the success of Brexit.
- Promote a competitive business environment for distillers - The
UK and Scottish Governments should work together to ensure the
industry and its supply chain flourish. It is vital that Scotland
is at least as competitive as the rest of the UK. A 'rural first'
policy should be implemented when digital infrastructure is
upgraded to help address the historic infrastructure gap.
- Work in partnership to reduce alcohol misuse - Tackling alcohol
misuse is a complex issue and needs a multi-stakeholder partnership
approach, based on robust evidence. Industry is committed to
playing its part, through initiatives such as the Scotch Whisky
- Target reform supporting investment in sustainability - The
industry is committed to protecting the natural environment and the
circular economy, supporting by its ambitious Environmental
Strategy. But regulation reform is needed to encourage more
sustainability. It must be balanced, consistent and
- Support Scotch Whisky through the UK industrial strategy - The
SWA is calling for a sector deal as part of the strategy to secure
its place as a world-leading industry.
Julie Hesketh-Laird, SWA acting chief executive, said: "We are
making a call for all candidates and political parties to show
their support for Scotch Whisky - a strategically important
industry for our economy.
"The continued success of the Scotch Whisky industry must not be
taken for granted.
"With ongoing Brexit uncertainty, the Scotch Whisky industry
needs government action that matches its warm words and that
enables the industry to grasp the challenges and opportunities
which lies ahead. Support at home is needed to underpin and
maintain our position as the world's leading spirit drink."
You can follow us on Twitter at @ScotchWhiskySWA and
The SWA Manifesto is available to download below.
With media enquiries, please contact: Rosemary Gallagher, SWA
head of communications, 0131 222 9230 or 07432 605 385 or