Scotch Whisky industry toasts scrapping of alcohol duty escalator and spirits duty freeze
19 Mar 2014
Budget boost for consumers and a vital
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has warmly welcomed the
Coalition Government's decision to scrap the alcohol duty escalator
a year early and freeze excise duty on spirits, following calls
from consumers, industry and politicians of all parties.
In today's Budget, Chancellor George Osborne showed he had
listened to businesses and consumers by not only scrapping the
escalator, which has increased duty on Scotch Whisky by 2% above
the rate of RPI every year since 2008, but also by freezing excise
duty on whisky.
This means that planned increases of 4.8% in excise duty, which
would have added another 40 pence in tax to a bottle of whisky,
will not now go ahead.
Welcoming the Chancellor's announcement the SWA said that the
decision was a show of support for a major Scottish and British
industry, which supports 35,000 jobs, many in economically fragile
areas. The Chancellor described Scotch Whisky as a great "British
success story". The move will also benefit the wider
hospitality industry and help support investment across the sector,
according to independent research by Ernst & Young.
The SWA said scrapping the escalator will be welcomed by
hard-pressed consumers. The vast majority of UK consumers - almost
70% - said in a poll last week that pre-planned tax increases under
the escalator on a bottle of Scotch were too high.
David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said:
"This show of support for distillers from the Coalition Government
will be warmly welcomed across the Scotch Whisky industry.
"We are delighted that the Chancellor and the Chief Secretary to
the Treasury listened to our case for scrapping the unfair alcohol
duty escalator and freezing whisky duty. It is a move that supports
hard-pressed consumers, a major manufacturing and export industry
and the wider hospitality sector.
"This fairer tax treatment in the UK, the third biggest market
for Scotch Whisky, also sends the right signal on excise policy to
the governments of the 200 countries to which we export. So
its effects will be felt around the world."
NOTES TO EDITORS
With media enquiries, please contact Rosemary Gallagher, SWA
communications manager, on 0131 222 9230/0743 260 5385 (email firstname.lastname@example.org) or
David Williamson, SWA government & communications director, on
0131 222 9226/0773 049 6151 (email: email@example.com).
The alcohol duty escalator was introduced in 2008 and scheduled
to end in 2015. Since its introduction the tax on a bottle of
Scotch had increased by 44% or RPI plus 2% each year.
For more information visit www.scotch-whisky.org.uk.
Follow us @ScotchWhiskySWA
Photography can be downloaded from http://www.flickr.com/photos/scotchwhiskyassociation