George Osborne cuts spirits duty by 2%

18th March, 2015 by Amy Hopkins

The UK drinks industry has welcomed a 2% cut to spirits duty announced in today’s 2015 Budget, following a campaign led by trade organisations.

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George Osborne has cut duty on spirits by 2% in today’s Budget Statement

Today, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced in his 2015 Budget Statement that all spirits duty would be cut by 2%, while a penny will be taken off the price of a pint of beer and cider duty will also be slashed by 2%.

Wine duty was frozen, but no changes were made to tobacco tax.

“To back one of the UK’s biggest exports the duty on Scotch whisky and other spirits will be cut by 2%,” Osborne told the House of Commons.

“More pubs saved, jobs created, families supported and a penny off a pint for the third year in a row.”

The announcement follows the Drop the Duty campaign lead by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) and the Tax Payers’ Alliance.

The trade bodies argued that the UK’s “draconian” excise system means duty and VAT accounted for 80% of the price of a bottle of whisky.

A tweet from the SWA read: “Thank you ‪@hmtreasury & ‪@George_Osborne, today’s 2% ‪#ScotchWhisky duty cut is truly historic. Only 4th time in over 100 years ‪#Budget2015”.

In last year’s Budget Statement, the Chancellor scrapped the automatic tax escalator on alcohol and froze duty on all spirits.

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