Whisky Duty Flawed. Time for a new Policy

24 Mar 2010

The Budget increase means that spirits duty, which is already higher than the duty on beer, wine and cider, has risen 21.6% in the last two years. The duty on a bottle of Scotch Whisky is now £6.66. The Budget adds 38p tax to the price of a bottle of Scotch Whisky.

Gavin Hewitt, Chief Executive of The Scotch Whisky Association, said:

"The Chancellor's duty escalator policy is totally misguided. The policy has failed.
Revenue from spirits to the Treasury fell by £49m in 2009. Today's duty rise by a Scottish Chancellor will not secure the increased revenue that he is looking for and undermines an industry that brings massive economic benefit to Scotland. He has hit Scotch at home and set a bad example for duty regimes in our export markets. Today's decision is worsened by the announcement that the above inflation rises will continue for an extra two years to 2015.

"After the election the new Government needs to take a long hard look at the excise duty regime. The escalator should be abolished, duty on spirits should be frozen and the duty discrimination faced by Scotch, which the Chancellor has worsened again today, should be addressed through approximation of duty rates, and eventually duty equivalence for all alcoholic drinks over the life of the next Parliament."