The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is demanding that the government end the ‘Scotch Supertax’, which equates to around 79% of the price of each bottle.
The call comes as the SWA is setting out its priorities for the new UK Parliament. It says the combination of excise and VAT equates to a near-80% tax burden which is holding the industry back. It warned that the industry would need to be more competitive to future-proof itself against the pressures of Brexit.
‘Scotch Whisky is an industry of huge importance to the UK, which supports over 40,000 jobs and exports more than £4 billion worth of whisky to 182 markets overseas every year,’ Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said.
‘However, our success is not a given. So, we are urging politicians at Westminster and Holyrood to work with us to deliver a Brexit that supports our future export growth and creates a more competitive domestic environment.
‘As part of this, we want to see a cut to the near-80% “Scotch Supertax”. Scotch has been a highly successful great British export for many years but its treatment in its home market is damaging its ability to grow at home and to sell overseas.’
The SWA is urging the Treasury to take action to reduce the Scotch Supertax in the Autumn Budget. It says currently, a unit of alcohol served as Scotch is taxed 51% higher than the same unit of alcohol in beer and 19% higher than wine.