Scottish Conservatives welcome whisky export figures

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Exports sales increase by 10 per cent

The Scottish Conservative Deputy Leader has welcomed recent figures from the Scotch Whisky Association which confirmed the value of whisky exports from Scotland had increased by 10% in 2010.

Murdo Fraser has said the Conservative party would continue to “promote and protect Scotch Whisky as an iconic brand all over the world.”

However, he criticised Scottish National Party plans to introduce a minimum pricing scheme.

Mr Fraser said in a statement: “This is indeed very welcome news but before the SNP pat themselves on the back too much, let’s remember that their plans for indiscriminate blanket minimum pricing would have greatly harmed the Scotch Whisky industry.

“According to the Scotch Whisky Association, a minimum price scheme will raise the average price of a 70cl bottle of blended spirit by 87p. Most damagingly however, it will also send completely the wrong message to the rest of the world and weaken Scotch Whisky as an export.

“The UK Government also recently handed the Scotch Whisky industry a major boost by signing an agreement with Chinese officials which means Scotch Whisky on sale in China can only be sold according to UK rules. It could increase sales by tens of millions of pounds a year.”

He added: “These positive steps stand in stark contrast with the SNP Government’s plans for indiscriminate blanket minimum pricing of alcohol, which would damage the industry.”

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