Spirits Tax Cut Gives £96m Treasury Boost
27 Jan 2016
- Scotch Whisky Association today calls on Government to take
further action to grow a great British industry
- Industry calls for a 2% cut in excise duty in March Budget from
current level of 76%
- More than three quarters of the British public support further
The Scotch Whisky industry today (27 January) toasted the
success of last year's historic cut in excise duty - revealing it
contributed to a £96 million increase in revenue from spirit drinks
for the Treasury*.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) went on to call on the UK
Government to do more for the whisky industry - which supports more
than 40,000 jobs in the UK - and pave the way for a further boost
to the Treasury's income by cutting duty again in this year's
Budget. Tax - excise and VAT - on an average priced bottle of
Scotch Whisky currently stands at the onerous level of 76%**,
despite last year's cut.
The industry wants to see 'Fair Tax For Whisky', issuing a call to
action to 'Stand up for Scotch', and is asking the Chancellor for a
2% cut in excise in the March Budget. The British public also
supports the move - with 76% of adults independently polled on
behalf of the SWA supporting a further cut in duty this
The SWA explained that while last year's decision was a step in
the right direction, it was the first cut in spirits duty in almost
20 years and was only the fourth time that tax on whisky has been
cut in the last century. It contributed to the £96m increase in
revenue from spirit drinks to the Treasury between April and
December 2015, compared with the same period in 2014. Revenue
jumped 4% from £2,401m to £2,497m.
David Frost, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association,
said: "The Government's own figures tell a simple story: when tax
is too high, if you cut it, revenues go up not down. Along with the
British public, we believe that the current tax of 76% on a bottle
of Scotch is too high. An ordinary drinker will hand over almost
ten pounds in tax on each bottle they buy. We would like to see a
2% cut again this year.
"George Osborne listened to the industry last year when we said
that a cut on duty would increase confidence, safeguard jobs, help
consumers, and thereby ultimately benefit the Treasury.
"We now have the figures to prove it. That's why this year we are
asking the Chancellor to continue what he has started. Deliver fair
tax for whisky, free the industry to invest and grow, and feel the
benefit through increased revenue.
"It really is common sense to stand up for Scotch."
The support for the industry signalled by the Chancellor in 2015
boosted confidence in the sector, leading to more jobs and
investment, including in some of the UK's most fragile rural and
urban communities. Seven new distilleries came on stream in the
last year and between 30 and 40 new ones are planned. It also
increased revenues for HM Treasury, with spirits revenue up by 4%
or £96m, between April and December 2015 on the same period in
Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of The TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"Piling taxes onto spirits hits those on lower incomes the hardest,
only adding to the cost of living.
"Last year's bold move by the Chancellor helped the industry and
the ordinary drinker but also saw a boost for the public finances,
which was a clear demonstration that cutting taxes can increase
"Mr. Osborne would do well to give taxpayers and businesses
another timely boost at the coming Budget."
Key points about the Scotch Whisky Industry:
- The sector creates jobs but also supports thousands of people
who work in hospitality, retail and logistics industries the length
and breadth of the UK. It supports more than 40,000 jobs across the
- George Osborne's 2015 Budget cut of 2% on excise duty gave a
boost to the 117 Scotch Whisky distilleries and across the UK
- Scotch is already a great British success story, generating £5
billion in value each year.
Note to Editors
**£9.91 of tax on an averagely priced 70cl bottle of Blended
|Avg price 70cl
Blended Scotch Whisky
***The poll included 1,014 respondents.
- It was
conducted on the SWA's behalf by Censuswide.
timescale was: 16.12.15 - 18.12.15
About the SWA:
The Scotch Whisky Association is the industry's representative
body and promotes the long-term, global interests of Scotch Whisky
as a high quality spirit drink, of its 58 member companies, and the
Scotch Whisky industry overall.
For more information please contact:
Public Affairs &
020 3047 2480
07432 605 385