SWA Budget Submission to Treasury 2016

03 Feb 2016

Fair Tax for Whisky: Stand up for Scotch

Following the March 2015 Budget, the Scotch Whisky industryraised a toast to the Chancellor as, for only the fourth time in the last one hundred years, duty on whisky was cut

Last year's 2% reduction in excise duty for spirit drinks was truly historic - the last time it
happened, in 1996, only 4% of UK households had internet access, devolution of power
from Westminster was yet to happen, and Dolly the Sheep was cloned.

Last year's decision by the Chancellor to support the industry through a cut in duty has
boosted confidence in the sector, leading to more jobs and investment, including in some
of our most fragile rural and urban communities. It has also catalysed increased revenues
for HM Treasury, with spirits revenue up by 4%, or £96m, between April and December
2015.

Tax down. Revenues Up. Confidence boosted.

Although the 2% cut built on the positive steps taken in 2014 to remove the alcohol duty
escalator one year early, and freeze spirits duty, further support is necessary to ensure
the continued success of an industry which the Chancellor described as "one of the UK's
biggest exports."

76% of an average priced bottle of Scotch is accounted for by tax. This is amongst the
highest tax burden on any product in the UK and is unfair to responsible drinkers and
producers. UK consumers also pay double the EU average of spirits excise duty.

In Budget 2016, the Scotch Whisky Association calls on the Chancellor to stand up for
Scotch and take further action to make the taxation of whisky fairer.

The evidence set out in this submission will show that another 2% cut in excise duty on
spirit drinks will help to support the public finances, promote investment and jobs across
the UK, and continue the progress towards fairer taxation for one of the UK's most iconic
and successful industries.