Last year’s 2 per cent cut in excise duty has contributed to a £96 million increase in revenue from spirit drinks for the Treasury, according to the whisky industry.
The cut was announced in March 2015 by Chancellor George Osborne in his Budget statement. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) had campaigned for the move, arguing that the industry was being held back by “onerous” levels of tax.
The SWA, citing official statistics, says revenue for the Treasury from spirits rose 4 per cent to almost £2.5 billion between April and December last year, compared with the same period in 2014.
The body wants the Chancellor to go further in his next Budget to help the whisky industry, which is said to support some 40,000 jobs.
Chief executive David Frost is calling for Osborne to “stand up for Scotch” and deliver another 2 per cent cut in excise in his March Budget, adding: “We believe that the current tax of 76 per cent is too high.”