Alcohol Commission Right To Reject Minimum Pricing

31 May 2010

Scotch Whisky drinkers currently pay 250% more duty per unit of alcohol than cider drinkers. The duty on whisky is 37% greater than beer and 30% higher than wine.

By progressively moving to an equitable system where all drinks are taxed at the same rate, the Government could generate more than £1 billion a year extra revenue according to independent analysis commissioned by the Association.

Gavin Hewitt, SWA Chief Executive, said: "Excise duty reform is long overdue. It could bring significant extra revenue for Government. Combined with a ban on sales below tax to set a legal 'floor price' for alcohol, duty reform could also address concerns at low priced drinks on a UK-wide basis."

The Association welcomed the Scottish Labour party's scepticism of a proposal to restrict alcohol sponsorship and advertising, saying such a move would damage local community groups, tourism, and important support for many cultural and sporting events.

A suggestion that alcoholic drinks should not be served at Scottish Government or
Parliamentary functions was dismissed by the Association, which said that Scotch Whisky should be showcased as a premium Scottish product at such events.