Scotch Whisky Association calls for level playing field

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Whisky, beer and wine

SWA calls for flat tax

The Scottish Whisky Association is lobbying the Chancellor and is calling for a hike in the duties paid on wine and beers in the budget next week.

The industry trade body believe that it is time for a “level playing field” and are calling for ministers to freeze the duty on spirits and introduce a flat tax where alcoholic drinks are taxed at the same level, says The Scotsman.

Campbell Evans, government and consumer affairs director at the Scotch Whisky Association, told the newspaper that the flat tax could help reduce the public sector deficit.

He explained: “Increasing the beer and wine duty rates to match the excise rate already applied on spirits would generate an additional £1bn in tax a year.

“This is very important in the context of the government reducing the public sector deficit.”

He added: “Everybody is talking about the public sector deficit setting the whole tenor of this year’s Budget.

“Well, here is a way we are suggesting that could rake in the Treasury an extra £1bn towards that deficit. We very much hope the Chancellor will take note.”

It is believed that Mr Osbourne may be considering a blanket increase in duty of around 6.5 per cent on all alcohol beverages.

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