Gordon MP Richard Thomson has urged the UK Government to commit to ruling out any further duty increase on Scotch whisky, and instead invest and protect the long-term future of the industry.
It comes following reports the UK Treasury will hit the Scottish whisky industry with a 15% duty rise, costing around £100M in 2023/24.
The decision would contradict the Conservatives’ 2019 manifesto commitment, which pledged to “ensure our tax system is supporting Scottish whisky and gin producers and protecting 42,000 jobs supported by Scotch across the UK”.
Scottish whisky is the world’s number one internationally traded spirit, with exports reaching £6.2B in 2022 – accounting for 25% of all UK food and drink exports, 77% of Scottish food and drink exports, and supporting more than 10,000 jobs in Scotland.
Commenting, local MP and the SNP’s Business and Trade spokesperson, Richard Thomson said:
“Once again, we are witnessing Scotland’s fantastic whisky industry being disproportionally impacted by a UK Government we did not vote for.
“The UK Government continues to squeeze the life out of the Scottish whisky industry - an industry that plays a pivotal role in Scotland’s economy.
"They are only just coming to terms with the 10.1% duty increase from the Spring Budget. Increasing it to 15% will rightly infuriate the sector further.
“As the world’s biggest international traded spirit, the UK Government should, instead, be focusing on investing and protecting the long-term future of the Scottish whisky industry.
“For too long, the UK Treasury has reaped the rewards of Scotland’s whisky sector.
“Only with the powers of independence can we harness the full potential of this industry, and fully support our wonderful communities who deliver huge sums of money for Scotland’s economy.”
Notes to Editors:
In the Queen’s Speech following the 2019 General Election, the UK government announced the review and promised to “review alcohol duty to ensure our tax system is supporting Scottish whisky and gin producers and protecting 42,000 jobs supported by Scotch across the UK.” Page 122 of this document.