Cut in alcohol duty ‘will boost public finances’

The Scotch Whisky Association wants to see duty cut. Picture: PA

The Scotch Whisky Association wants to see duty cut. Picture: PA

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Scotch whisky distillers are calling on Chancellor George Osborne to cut duty on alcoholic drinks in his next Budget and will today publish a report claiming that the move could make the Treasury money.

The Scotch Whisky Association has teamed up with Wine and Spirit Trade Association to launch a “Drop the Duty!” campaign calling for a 2 per cent cut in the tax, which can total 80 per cent on a bottle of malt.

According to analysis by accountants at EY, the cut could give a £1.5 billion boost to the public finances in 2015 through increased investment across the industry; greater tax income from corporation tax and VAT; and from the benefits of jobs created in pubs, bars, restaurants, shops and the supply chain.

David Frost, SWA chief executive, said: “Lowering these draconian levels of excise duty would actually boost public finances.”

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