Stop the Scotch Super Tax

Stop the Scotch Super Tax

The Scotch Whisky Association is calling on the Government to freeze spirits excise duty in the 2018 Budget, which would extend the benefits to the Treasury of a freeze announced in November 2017 and to support a flagship British industry.

Tax on Scotch Whisky currently stands at 74%*, meaning £3 in every £4 spent on Scotch Whisky in the UK goes to the HM Treasury in excise and VAT.

Data from HM Revenue and Customs shows spirits duty receipts for the Treasury increased by £163 million to almost £2 billion between February and August 2018 - up 9.1% on figures for the same period in 2017.

The SWA believes an extension of the spirits duty freeze would deliver more revenue for the Treasury than a duty increase, while protecting an industry that has invested more than £500 million on capital projects, including new distilleries, tourist centres and technology, over the last five years.

The Scotch Whisky industry also generates more than £4 billion in exports each year and represents a fifth of the UK's total food and drink exports. But continued success abroad can only be secured through support at home. 

Karen Betts, Chief Executive of the SWA, said: "Scotch Whisky is a flagship British industry, supporting more than 40,000 jobs and contributing £5 billion to the economy every year.

"All the economic evidence shows the Chancellor was right to freeze spirits duty last year, and his decision had been vindicated by the extra revenue our industry has generated for the Treasury. Continuing a freeze in the 2018 Budget will deliver more money for the Exchequer than increasing duty and further penalising consumers.

"Given the pressure on public finances, we hope the Chancellor will take the opportunity to both maximise the return on spirits and support Scotland's national drink at a time when we need to back our winners." 

For more information in the campaign and to find out how you can help, download our Scotch Super Tax Factsheet.

*The 74% tax (VAT and excise duty) is based on an average selling price of £14.15 for a 70cl bottle (as at June 2018) of Scotch Whisky in the off-trade in the UK. Of that, excise forms £8.05 and VAT forms £2.36. Therefore total tax on a bottle is £10.41