The recent announcement by the Chancellor Phillip Hammond to continue to freeze spirits duty was very much a welcome one in the 2018 Autumn Budget.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), led by its Chief Executive Karen Betts, had campaigned for the freeze to continue and thus for the ‘scotch super tax’ to stop – click here for the details. As shared by the SWA, a new economic analysis conducted by the Centre for Economic and Business Research, shows that by continuing to freeze spirits duty, the Chancellor can grow revenue by an additional £64m in 2019/20 and by almost £200m by 2021.

The current impact in the UK of the tax burden on the average price of a Scotch whisky bottle to consumers can be seen on the graphic above, with £3 in every £4 spent due to taxation. The increase since 2007 has been significant as detailed below.

Consumers in the UK are paying over the odds with the 4th highest rate of excise on spirits across the European Union, behind only Sweden, Finland and Ireland. This is 76% higher than the EU average.

In a more stable excise environment, the Scotch Whisky industry has been able to do its part to boost the UK economy, investing over £500m in capital projects, creating jobs in manufacturing, tourism and the supply chain.


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