Two thirds of Scots want lower Scotch duty

9th November, 2017 by Owen Bellwood

A new survey has found that 68% of Scots would support a cut in whisky duty in the chancellor’s forthcoming Budget.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has come under increasing pressure to reduce whisky duty

As well as calls to cut the duty on Scotch, the survey, conducted by Survation on behalf of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), found that 64% of the people interviewed think Westminster should be doing more to support the whisky industry.

Karen Betts, chief executive of the SWA, said: “We are urging the chancellor to use the Budget to cut tax on Scotch and back this global success story.”

She continued: “The Westminster government has a real chance to show it is fully behind a leading UK manufacturing and exporting industry at a vital time, and fully behind the jobs and communities in Scotland that the industry supports.”

Chancellor Philip Hammond increased duty by 3.9% in March, which was followed by a fall in sales of one million bottles and a 7% reduction in Treasury revenues.

As taxes currently make up around 80% of the price for a bottle of Scotch whisky, the chancellor has come under increasing pressure to cut duty rates on whisky.

Scottish MPs from across the political spectrum are calling on the chancellor to cut duty on Scotch and support the ‘iconic’ Scottish spirit, which is the UK’s number one food and drink export.

MPs have backed the SWA’s Drop The Dram Duty campaign calling for fairer taxes on whisky, which currently faces harsher taxation than wine and beer.

Conservative MP for Moray, Douglas Ross, said: “The Scotch whisky industry is hugely important to Moray as well as the entire county. I was deeply concerned about the impact of the duty rise introduced by the chancellor in the last Budget, and hope he has carefully considered the impact of any further changes in the coming weeks.”

Chancellor Philip Hammond will announce his autumn Budget on 22 November.

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