The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has criticised the Chancellor’s decision to raise spirits duty in his Budget, while welcoming the cut in corporation tax rate.
According to the SWA, the 5% increase in spirits duty in yesterday’s Budget results in a rise of 42 pence a bottle and means that only Finland and Sweden tax Scotch Whisky more heavily within the EU.
Chief exec, Gavin Hewitt, said in a media release: â€œThe reduction in corporation tax is a welcome boost to business but by maintaining the duty escalator the Chancellor has undermined the Governmentâ€™s objectives of encouraging economic growth and curbing inflation.
â€œThe Government needs to review the duty escalator which is harming the Scotch Whisky sector. The industry is vital to economic growth and supports about 35,000 jobs across the UK. It suffers at home due to the discriminatory tax regime applied by our own government.â€
The SWA is calling for an overhaul of the entire duty regime through a move towards a system where all drinks were taxed at about the same rate per unit of alcohol. Currently spirits, such as whisky, carry 37% more duty per unit than beer and 30% more than wine.