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Whisky industry welcomes duty freeze

A typical bottle costs 30p less than if it had risen by inflation, according to the Treasury.

The Scotch Whisky Association has welcomed a freeze on spirits duty (Andrew Milligan/PA)
The Scotch Whisky Association has welcomed a freeze on spirits duty (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said the Chancellor’s decision to continue the freeze on spirits duty was a “welcome show of support” for the industry.

The measure means the price of a typical bottle is 30p lower than if it had risen by inflation, according to the Treasury.

The duty rate on spirits remains £28.74 per litre of pure alcohol.

Of the £14.15 average price of a bottle of Scotch whisky, £10.41 is collected in tax through excise duty and VAT, the SWA said.

Chief executive Karen Betts said: “Time after time, the industry has shown that a stable rate of tax both boosts government revenue to help support vital public services and creates an environment which encourages investment in future growth.

“We have welcomed the support shown to the industry by the politicians from across the UK and the political spectrum who have backed our campaign and have stood up for the industry and the communities it supports.

“We welcome too the sound course set today by the Chancellor, which supports the industry’s global competitiveness, nurtures growth and backs jobs and investment.

“However, the Scotch Super Tax remains, with £3 in every £4 spent on the average priced bottle of Scotch in the UK still collected in taxation, and a significant disparity between what consumers pay in tax on Scotch and other alcoholic products.”

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce said the freeze on duty would be welcome news for consumers, manufacturers and retailers.

Scottish Conservative MP Douglas Ross said: “The spirit duty freeze means we will continue to see investment from the whisky industry across the UK which will bring benefits to the wider economy through exports, tourism and hospitality.”

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