Scotch whisky sales drop by 1M bottles after tax hike

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 12, 2017

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has called for a reduction in tax on whisky after United Kingdom sales fell by more than 1 million bottles in the first half of the year.

Official HM Revenue & Customs figures show 36.7 million bottles were sold in the world's fourth biggest market for Scotch in the first six months of 2017 - down from 37.7 million in the same period previous year.

The association said the slump could be attributed to a near 4% increase in duty on spirits, one of several tax-raising measures imposed by the chancellor, Philip Hammond, in his March budget.

A Treasury spokeswoman said 90 per cent of Scotch whisky is exported, meaning no alcohol duty is paid on these sales.

The campaign calls on the Chancellor to "give fairer tax treatment to spirits" in this November's Budget, based on the fact that tax now makes up 80% of the cost of an average bottle of Scotch - more than £10 out of £12.77.

Charandeep Singh, spokesman for the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: "The Scotch Whisky Association is right to highlight the damaging effect that the hike in spirits duty has had on Scotch sales within the UK".

"Cutting tax would send a strong signal that the Government believes in a world-famous United Kingdom manufacturing industry which supports 40,000 jobs and plays a key role in Scotland's economy", says the SWA.

HMRC figures say that spirits revenue fell by more than 7% in the first quarter of the 2017/18 financial year, reaching £697m compared to £751m in April to June 2016.

Karen Betts, chief executive of the association, said the quarterly HMRC figures showed that the Treasury had made an error. And a freeze in 2016 led to a revenue increase of more than seven per cent, pouring an additional £229 million into the Chancellor's coffers.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE