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21 January 2020

Scotch Whisky's key priorities in the 2020 Scottish Budget

Scotch Whisky's key priorities in the 2020 Scottish Budget
The Scotch Whisky Association has laid out the five priority areas for the Scottish Government to support the industry in the forthcoming Scottish Budget on 6th February

The Scotch Whisky Association has today outlined the industry’s priorities ahead of the Scottish Budget on 6th February.

The SWA’s Scottish Budget Submission highlights five priority areas where we believe that Scottish government action would boost investment and productivity for our industry and the wider Scottish economy.

Scotch Whisky, which represents 70% of Scottish exports, has come under significant pressure in recent months following the imposition of a 25% tariff on US imports of Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Scotch Whisky Liqueurs.

The SWA’s priorities include investment in sustainability and infrastructure to benefit Scotch Whisky industry sites and the communities right across Scotland in which we are based. In addition, the SWA is calling for the business and regulatory environment to recognise the contribution made by the industry to Scotland’s economy, as well as support in training the talent we need in jobs across our industry and the Scotch Whisky supply chain.

Crucially, the industry calls for recognition of the industry as a key stakeholder in policy formation to help the Scottish Government achieve its ambitious targets around economic growth, employment and environmental responsibility. The industry’s participation in this will help Scotch Whisky businesses to support Scottish Government policies while ensuring that the industry can maintain its competitiveness and continued global export success.

Chief Executive of the SWA, Karen Betts, said: “It’s important to the Scotch Whisky industry to work closely with the Scottish Government across the many issues that influence our success, from infrastructure to sustainability to exports. 

“This is even more critical in what promises to be a turbulent year for the industry. Exports to our most valuable market are being hit hard by a 25% tariff on Single Malt Scotch Whisky. We are paying the price of a dispute about subsidies to aircraft manufacturers, and picking up 62% of the UK’s tariff bill.  This is affecting businesses right across Scotland.  We are asking government what support they will give these businesses to mitigate the impact of tariffs, since the bill for illegal subsidies is not ours to pay.

“We want to see the Scottish Government work to support the industry during these challenging times, and the measures laid out in our submission would go some way to boost an industry which is central to the success of the Scottish economy, both now and in the future.”

The SWA’s Scottish Budget Submission can be found here.