Whisky for the Chancellor

Scotch Whisky Association calls for a reduction in duty on spirits and highlights that the tax on a £12.50 bottle of Bell’s Whisky is a staggering £9.98

 

Revelations by the Scotch Whisky Association that UK whisky drinkers are paying 35% more in tax than those in Holland have resulted in calls for George Osborne to reduce duty in the forthcoming Budget.

 

whisky
The Scotch Whisky Association is urging the Chancellor to do more to support distilleries such as Lagavulin

 

UK drinkers, it transpires, pay more tax on spirits than those in Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy and Spain combined and whilst the tax on whisky is 44% in Holland, in Britain it is 79% of the retail price paid by consumers.

 

As illustration of how tax on alcohol is currently structured in Britain, we list the total tax on three brands of whisky, vodka and gin below:

 

£12.50 bottle of Bell’s Whisky:

– Duty: £7.90

– VAT: £2.08

– Total tax: £9.98

 

£12 bottle of Smirnoff Vodka:

– Duty: £7.41

– VAT: £2

– Total tax: £9.41

 

£12.50 bottle of Gordon’s Gin:

– Duty: £7.41

– VAT: £2

– Total tax: £9.49

 

Complaining that this “unfair tax” is crippling the industry and requesting that the Chancellor cuts duty for spirits by 2%, David Frost of the Scotch Whisky Association commented:

 

“[Our latest] report shows just how significant the Scotch Whisky industry is to the wider UK economy, adding £5 billion of value, supporting over 40,000 jobs, and contributing £4 billion to Britain’s trade performance”.

 

 

“Given the scale and impact of the Scotch Whisky industry we believe the government should show its support. One way of doing so, in the short term, would be for the Chancellor to cut excise duty by 2% in the March Budget. It is unfair on the industry and consumers, and detrimental to the economy, that almost 80% of the average price of a bottle of Scotch is taxation”.

 

Producers also suggest that cutting duty would boost public finances as such a move would generate an estimated £1.5 billion in increased investment and new jobs across the industry.

 

The wine and spirits industry in Britain contributes a total of £45 billion to the UK economy each year and today The Steeple Times joins with those who believe that it is time that the government give it and drinkers a break.

 

To support the campaign to ‘Drop the Duty’, sign up by following on Twitter at @droptheduty.

 

 

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