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02 October 2020

SWA welcomes UK alcohol duty review

Karen Betts
SWA comments on the publication of a call for evidence in the review of UK alcohol taxation.

Commenting on HM Treasury's publication of a call for evidence in the review of UK alcohol taxation, Scotch Whisky Association Chief Executive Karen Betts said:

“We welcome today’s call for evidence by the Treasury on a review of alcohol duty in the UK.  We have long said that the UK’s system for taxing alcohol is out of date and overly complex.  We look forward to working with the Exchequer Secretary and her officials to shape an alcohol taxation system fit for the 21st century.

“As it stands, Scotch Whisky and other spirits are put at a competitive disadvantage in the UK through the duty system.  We were pleased to see the Government recognise this in this year’s Queen’s Speech.  Consumers face inconsistent and confusing taxation, paying 16% more in tax on spirits than on wine and 256% more than on cider.

“We urge the Government now to move quickly to devise and implement a reformed and modern duty system which backs business, supports consumers and ensures that domestic industries, like Scotch Whisky, are fairly treated.”