Excise Duty Rise Is An Unfair and Incomprehensible Blow To Scotch Whisky
20 Mar 2013
- 48% more duty on whisky than beer
- 47 pence increase on bottle of whisky
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said the Chancellor's
decision to increase duty on spirits, while cutting beer duty, is
unfair, incomprehensible and undermines one of Britain's major
industries in its home market.
The Budget announcement penalises consumers who choose Scotch
Whisky over beer. Drinkers of a dram are now paying 48% more duty
than a beer drinker, further distorting the alcohol drinks market
in the UK.
The Association said this is an attack on a major British
business - by law Scotch Whisky can only be made in Scotland - in
its third most important market. A reduction in sales of spirits,
which are largely bottled in Scotland for the UK market, will hit
jobs and employment prospects.
It undermines efforts by the government and the industry to
create fairer tax regimes for Scotch in its 200 overseas markets.
It undermines the significant investment the industry is committing
to secure future growth.
The 5.3% increase in spirits duty in today's Budget penalises
the Scotch Whisky industry. The 47 pence rise, including duty and
vat, sees the average price of a standard 70cl bottle of Scotch
Whisky jump to £12.89 from £12.42. This increase threatens
sales and leads to less overall revenue for the Government.
Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association,
"This is an unfair and incomprehensible attack on the Scotch
Whisky industry in its domestic market, where it is a vital part of
the Scottish and UK economy and where it supports many other
businesses. It penalises responsible drinkers who like a dram
rather than a pint. There is no justification for spirits being
taxed more heavily than beer.
"It also damages all the good work done to create fairer tax
regimes overseas to provide a fairer playing field for Scotch
Whisky. It hinders the government's ambitions for an export-led
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The duty rise announced today increases the duty on a 70cl bottle
from £7.51 to 7.90. With VAT (20%) charged on that extra duty, the
total tax uplift on each bottle is 47 pence. The current average
price of a 70cl bottle of standard Blended Scotch Whisky in the UK
For further information, please contact Rosemary Gallagher SWA
communications manager on 0131 222 9230/0743 260 firstname.lastname@example.org
or Campbell Evans on 07768 002 email@example.com