Hospitality sector backs Scotch Whisky industry calls for 2% excise duty cut
24 Feb 2016
The hospitality industry has backed calls for a 2% cut in excise
duty on Scotch Whisky, and all spirits, saying bars, restaurants
and hotels would benefit from lower taxation on alcohol.
The British Hospitality Association's Scottish arm says a
reduction in duty would support competitiveness and help ease cost
pressures on the sector, as well as benefiting customers.
While the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) welcomed the UK
Government's decision to cut duty by 2% in last year's Budget, it
has said more needs to be done to support the industry. The SWA
wants to see 'Fair Tax For Whisky', pointing to the current onerous
level of 76% tax, including excise duty and Vat, on an average
priced bottle of Scotch. Around three quarters of the British
public agree this level of tax is too high.
And now the British Hospitality Association (BHA), which
represents over 7,000 businesses providing over 250,000 jobs across
the sector, says a 2% cut in excise would benefit its members and
improve competitiveness with other countries.
Scotch Whisky, along with other spirits and wine, accounts for
£5.4 billion, or more than 35%, of alcohol, sold in UK pubs.
Looking at the wider hospitality sector, including restaurants and
hotels, the on-trade total for spirits and wine sold reaches almost
Willie Macleod, executive director of the BHA in Scotland, said:
"A 2% cut in excise on Scotch Whisky, and other categories of
alcohol, would help ease some of the pressures on the hospitality
sector. We operate in a competitive global market-place in which
our customers are already paying high levels of tax, including the
highest rates of VAT on hotel accommodation in Europe. A reduction
in alcohol excise duty would show that the UK government realises
it needs to support our hospitality industry and the employment it
David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said:
"By supporting Scotch Whisky in next month's Budget, the UK
Government can bolster jobs, local communities and great British
pubs across the UK, as well as benefit the Treasury.
"Last year's spirits duty cut actually helped boost tax receipts
on spirits by £96 million between April and December, compared to
the same period in 2014. We're calling on Chancellor George Osborne
to Stand Up For Scotch again this year."
Notes to editors
With media queries please contact Rosemary Gallagher, Scotch
Whisky Association head of communications, 0044 131 222 9230 or
0044 7432 605385, email firstname.lastname@example.org
*EY Economic Impact of the UK Hospitality Sector report