Alistair Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland has called for a 2% cut in spirit duty to support the Scotch Whisky industry. Mr. Carmichael made the call in a letter to Philip Hammond ahead of the Spring Budget Statement on 8 March.
Commenting, Mr. Carmichael said:
“Obviously any cut in duty for Whisky would apply to other spirits as well. With three local companies providing gin as well as Highland Park and Scapa providing Malt Whisky, this could be a welcome boost to their businesses. The Scotch Whisky industry is one of our most important manufacturing sectors, especially for export. As our departure of the EU gets closer, the protection of our exports will become ever more important.
“It is really important that the Whisky industry gets the support they need to continue to thrive. In 2015 Whisky duty was cut and it saw a huge increase in sales, as well as a massive rise in the amount of tax the treasury got as a result of higher sales.
“The industry supports 40,000 jobs across the UK, many in small communities, and the Government should do everything it can to ensure that these jobs are safeguarded into the future.”