Distillers serve up £101m Treasury bonus
22 Dec 2016
Whisky sales in the UK have helped give a boost of more than
£100 million to the public purse, latest figures reveal.
In the 12 months to the end of October this year, the Treasury
secured an additional £101m from spirits duty* - including the tax
consumers pay on a bottle of Scotch Whisky.
The increase should give Chancellor Philip Hammond some
Christmas cheer over the festive period.
In total, the spirits industry, including Scotch Whisky,
contributes around £3.2 billion a year to the Treasury in duty.
This figure has grown since the Government decided to end the
policy of increasing excise by inflation plus an additional two
percent - the alcohol duty escalator - in 2014.
The industry was given a further boost in 2015 when the
Chancellor cut duty paid on Scotch Whisky, and all spirits, by 2
per cent. Over the next 12 months spirits revenues increased by
£123m. And in this year's Budget excise on spirits was frozen.
Receipts from spirits duty are now £155m higher per annum than
before the escalator was scrapped.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) says the latest good news
figures for the iconic British industry show that recent Government
moves to ease punitive tax rates benefited both consumers and
Julie Hesketh-Laird, acting chief executive of the SWA, said:
"Easing the duty regime on Scotch Whisky has helped customers,
businesses and taxpayers. The boost to public funds is the result
of a successful policy.
"Scotch is one of the UK's most important industries, supporting
around 40,000 jobs and contributing £5 billion to the economy each
year. Government support for industry helps to give small
businesses, as well as larger producers, confidence in the
However, the SWA believes that despite the promising signs of
recent years, more is required - particularly during a period of
pre-Brexit uncertainty. More than three quarters - 77% - of the
average price paid for a bottle of whisky is tax - excise and
Ms Hesketh-Laird added: "The current tax rates remain unfair and
we believe that there is an opportunity for the Chancellor to
bring cheer to consumers and boost the Treasury's coffers next
"This Christmas and New Year we hope that the Chancellor raises
a glass to the Scotch Whisky industry."
*The most up-to-date official Treasury figures available show
that in the 12 months to October 2016, spirits receipts were £3.212
billion - £101 million more (+3.25%) than the 12 months to October
2015 when receipts were £3.111bn.
**The 77% tax (vat and excise duty) is based on an average
selling price of £12.80 for a 70cl bottle (as at September 2016) of
Scotch Whisky in the off-trade in the UK. Of that, excise forms
£7.75 and Vat forms £2.13 (Vat is charged twice on Scotch - on
excise and on the final selling price). Therefore total tax on a
bottle is £9.88.
SWA media contact: Rosemary Gallagher, head of communications,
0131 222 9230/07432 605385 or email firstname.lastname@example.org