Northern Isles MP, Alistair Carmichael, has written to the Chancellor urging him to introduce a further 2% cut in duty on Scotch Whisky.
An average-priced bottle of Scotch Whisky is currently subject to 76% tax – one of the highest taxed products in the world. The industry supports 40,000 jobs across the UK and is worth £5billion in gross value added to the UK economy.
Commenting, Mr Carmichael said:
“The Coalition Government were big supporters of the whisky industry, helped in no small end by MPs from Orkney and Shetland and the highlands sitting around the Cabinet table. We recognised that the industry was one of the country’s strongest exporters and supported thousands of jobs in Scotland and across the UK, so I was pleased to be in government when duty was cut by 2% last year. I believe that the current government can, and should, go further.
“Over the last 18 months, seven new distilleries have opened with over 30 planned for opening in Scotland and Scapa goes from strength to strength in Orkney. A further cut in excise would help these home-grown businesses and strengthen the exporting power of Scotch Whisky.
“At this time of the year the Chancellor is lobbied very hard by various sectors and interests with the Budget approaching. I have written to him today to push for more support for the world-leading Scotch Whisky industry which would boost his coffers and provide jobs and investment in the UK manufacturing sector.”