Scotch whisky tax ‘unfair’, say 92% of Scots

4th January, 2016 by Melita Kiely

A total of 92% of Scottish people believe the existing Scotch whisky tax is “unfair”, according to the latest poll by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).


A recent poll by the SWA revealed 92% of Scots believe the current tax paid on a bottle of Scotch whisky is “unfair”

The results also revealed that the majority of the wider British public (85%) who also took part in the survey agree the 76% tax on a bottle of Scotch whisky is not fair.

The SWA has long-campaigned for tax reductions to Scotch whisky, arguing the “onerous level of tax is damaging the economy”.

It believes lower levels of tax would help protect jobs and allow smaller distilleries to “flourish”.

As it currently stands, consumers pay £9.91 on an “averagely priced” bottle of Scotch whisky, despite George Osborne cutting spirits tax by 2% in last year’s Budget.

“The bold move by George Osborne in this year’s Budget to cut excise duty by 2% gave a boost to our 117 Scotch whisky distilleries and across our UK supply chain,” said David Frost, chief executive of the SWA.

“But that was the first cut in spirits duty in almost 20 years and was only the fifth time that tax on whisky has ever been cut since distilling became legal in 1832.

“So there’s more to be done and we want the UK government to build on that first step they’ve taken.

“It’s an exciting time for an iconic Scottish and British industry that is the envy of the world.

“An industry that creates jobs but also supports thousands of people who work in hospitality, retail and logistics industries the length and breadth of the UK.”

In December 2015, the European Court of Justice agreed with EU advocate general Yves Bot’s official opinion that minimum unit pricing infringes EU laws if other methods to tackle problem drinking – such as tax hikes – exist.

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