The contribution of the sector to the UK economy has risen to £5.5bn over the past three years, driven by record exports and new distillery openings.
The data from the Scotch Whisky Association showed that Scotland’s national drink generates two-thirds of all spirits Gross Value Added (GVA) in the UK. Exports reached £4.7bn in 2018, while several new distilleries began production and opened their doors to tourists.
Karen Betts, chief executive of the SWA, said: “This research shows the Scotch Whisky industry’s huge contribution to both the Scottish and UK economies.
“This report also highlights the high rate of domestic tax that Scotch Whisky faces in the UK. In the US, Scotch and other whiskies are taxed at just 27 per cent of the rate that HM Treasury taxes us here at home. We will continue to press the Chancellor for fairer treatment for Scotch Whisky in our domestic market, which reflects the vital economic contribution the industry makes to the UK economy every day.”
Scotch Whisky provides £3.8bn in direct in GVA to Scotland – helped by regulations in place that requires all Scotch Whisky to be distilled and matured for at least three years in Scotland.
The industry supports more than 42,000 jobs across the UK, including 10,500 people directly in Scotland, and 7,000 in rural communities.