MSPs Urged To Reject Minimum Price Plan And Push For Fair And Responsible Excise Taxation
09 Nov 2011
Distillers believe minimum pricing, as proposed by the Scottish
Government, would have little impact on alcohol harm but would
violate EU and international trade rules, leading to copycat trade
barriers in export markets. This would undermine the industry and
its Scottish supply chain at a time of economic uncertainty.
At 45p a unit, the cost of an averagely priced bottle of Scotch
Whisky in Scotland would increase by 16% to £12.60, reducing the
domestic market by nearly 13%. Value and own-label Scotch Whisky
brands would be particularly impacted.
The SWA called on political parties to seize the opportunity of
a current UK Treasury review to argue for a fairer and more
responsible excise duty system where all drinks are taxed on the
same basis. In tandem with a ban on alcohol sales below tax, a
legal and transparent 'floor price' for alcohol could be set,
addressing issues around the pricing of certain drinks.
Gavin Hewitt, SWA Chief Executive, said:
"We urge MSPs to reject a minimum pricing proposal that simply
will not work, fails to meet the basic tests of EU law, and which
would significantly damage Scotch Whisky at home and abroad.
"Political parties should instead look at an alternative UK-wide
solution to concerns around the pricing of certain drinks. Excise
duty reform so that all drinks are taxed on the same basis,
according to alcohol content, and a ban on sales below tax, is a
fair and socially responsible way forward. It would also secure
over £1bn a year extra revenue for the public finances."