Scotch Whisky industry toasts historic spirits duty cut of 2%
18 Mar 2015
Budget boost for consumers and a vital UK
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has hailed the Coalition
Government's decision to cut excise duty on spirits by 2% in
today's Budget as historic. It said it is a move that is both fair
to consumers and a significant boost to a home-grown industry.
George Osborne's announcement marks the first cut in spirits
duty in almost twenty years and is only the fourth time that excise
on whisky has fallen in a century.
The Chancellor's landmark decision to reduce duty by 2% a bottle
was widely welcomed across the whisky industry and would, the SWA
added, be cheered by consumers. The Chancellor's recognition of
Scotch Whisky as one of the UK's biggest exports has also been
Building on last year's duty freeze, the announcement was
described as a show of support for a major UK industry and its
supply chain, which is responsible for more than 40,000 jobs.
It will benefit the wider hospitality industry and help underpin
investment across the sector which, in turn, will boost public
As a result of the 2% cut in excise, the duty burden on a 70cl
bottle of Scotch at the average price of £12.90 has been reduced by
16 pence from £7.90 to £7.74. The total tax burden, including VAT,
now stands at £9.89, or 77% of the average price of a bottle of
Scotch, down from 78%.
David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said:
"This is a historic decision and only the fourth time whisky duty
has been cut in a century.
"The Chancellor's announcement will be toasted across the whisky
industry and by consumers who are getting a fairer deal on tax when
they have a drink of Scotch. The move is a major boost to our
industry as we look to grow again in the UK, and equally sends out
an important signal on fair taxation to our export
"The industry is raising a glass to George Osborne and his
Treasury team, as well as to all those who have supported our
campaign over the last two decades."
Notes to editors:
VAT is charged twice on Scotch Whisky - on duty and on the final
selling price. The total VAT on a bottle of Scotch is now
This is only the fifth spirits duty cut since the landmark 1823
The only spirits duty cuts since then are: 1995 and 1996 (Ken
Clarke); 1973 (Anthony Barber) - this excise duty cut was made to
compensate for the introduction of VAT (as a condition of UK entry
into the Common Market). The overall tax burden did not
decrease; 1895 (William Harcourt).
For more information on the SWA visit www.scotch-whisky.org.uk
and follow us on Twitter @ScotchWhiskySWA
With queries please contact Rosemary Gallagher, SWA
communications manager, Tel 0131 222 9230/07432 605385,
firstname.lastname@example.org or David Williamson, SWA public affairs &
communications director, Tel 0131 222 9226/07730 496151.