Scotch whisky sales climb on back of George Osborne’s cut

Figures show a 2 per cent rise in the number of 70cl bottles of whisky released for sale in 2015. Picture: Getty

Figures show a 2 per cent rise in the number of 70cl bottles of whisky released for sale in 2015. Picture: Getty

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A tax cut on Scotch whisky in last year’s Budget has helped boost UK sales following several years of decline, new figures reveal.

Figures from HM Revenue & Customs, published by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) yesterday, show a 2 per cent rise in the number of 70cl bottles of whisky released for sale in 2015 – up to 84.9 million from 83.3 million the previous year.

Volumes have not broken 100 million bottles a year in the UK since 2008. The SWA said the 2 per cent cut in excise duty last year by Chancellor George Osborne, on the back of a freeze and the scrapping of the alcohol duty escalator in 2014, “has given a confidence boost to the industry.”

The industry trade body is calling for a further 2 per cent excise duty cut on whisky in the Budget on 16 March.

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