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16 November 2023

Labour leader Keir Starmer backs Scotch Whisky success

Visiting the InchDairnie distillery in Glenrothes, Fife, Sir Keir said a government he leads would put in place a trade strategy that would “back Scotch producers to the hilt”.

Commenting on the visit of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer MP to Inchdairnie Distillery in Fife, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association Mark Kent – who accompanied Sir Keir on the visit – said:

“We are delighted to welcome Sir Keir to see first hand how Scotch Whisky is crafted in communities across Scotland before being shipped to the world. We should be hugely proud that Scotch Whisky represents the best of Scotland, an asset to be nurtured and cherished so that distillers can continue to grow, create jobs and boost investment right across the UK. It is at the heart of Brand Scotland.

“To be a global success the industry needs to support at home. That means a competitive business environment and, with the highest spirits duty in the G7, currently the UK is out of step with other developed economies in how it treats Scotland’s national drink. The Autumn Statement next week will be a key indicator of how Scotch Whisky is supported. A duty freeze will allow the industry to invest, create jobs and grow. Any further tax increase, or widening of the competitive disadvantage versus other alcohol categories, will compound the damage done by the double-digit tax hike just three months ago.”