The UK Government has been urged not to increase duty on Scotch whisky in anticipation of the Chancellor’s upcoming autumn statement.
The SNP has spoken out following reports that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt intends to raise duty on the alcohol by 15%.
The party claim that the impact of this hike will cost the industry £100m and could affect the “42,000 jobs supported by Scotch across the UK”.
“Once again, we are witnessing Scotland’s fantastic whisky industry being disproportionally impacted by a UK Government we did not vote for,” said SNP business and trade spokesperson Richard Thompson.
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“The UK Government continues to squeeze the life out of the Scotch 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.”
In response a treasury spokesperson said: “Scotch has received nine cuts or freezes at the last 10 budgets.”
“We have also acted to remove punitive tariffs on Scotch whisky imposed on the US market and are committed to protecting the interests of Scotch whisky in trading agreements, ensuring that they face lower tariffs for export, and that the unique characteristics and global reputation of Scotch is protected.”
Earlier this week, a rare bottle of Scotch whisky became the world’s most expensive bottle, selling at £2.1m at auction house Sotheby’s.