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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Sunak Under Pressure to Rethink Tory Whisky Tax

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Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, came under pressure on Friday to rethink his government’s 75% tax on bottles of Scotch Whisky during a flying visit to Scotland.
 
On the expected trip to Moray – home to the Speyside Whisky region that houses over 50 distilleries – the SNP has challenged the Tory leader to reduce whisky duty by at least 5%.
 
The move could bring in an additional £318 million a year in tax revenues according to analysis from the Scotch Whisky Association.
 
Whisky accounts for 77% of Scottish food and drink exports, supports more than 40,000 jobs in Scotland and generated well over £6 billion in export sales in 2022.
 
Challenging the Prime Minister, the SNP’s Trade Spokesperson Richard Thomson MP said:
 
“Scotch Whisky is an iconic part of our culture and importantly plays a huge role in Scotland’s economy – generating over £6 billion in export sales every year.
 
“It beggars belief that the Tories have slapped an eye-watering 75% tax on bottles of Scotch Whisky which support more than 40,000 jobs in Scotland.
 
“The Tory Whisky Tax is holding back growth in this globally renowned industry and punishing local distilleries for paying billions into the Treasury’s coffers.
 
“During his visit to Moray, Rishi Sunak must listen to the SNP, and industry leaders, and commit to a reduction of at least 5% in the Tory Whisky Tax at next week’s Spring Budget.

“Anything less will be a betrayal of the Scotch Whisky industry.
 
“Ultimately, this is just another example of the Tories using Scotland’s multi-billion-pound industries as a cash cow to line the pockets of Whitehall departments – just look at the £400 billion of North Sea revenues taken by the Treasury with next to nothing given back to local communities in the North East.
 
“At the upcoming election, voters have the opportunity to make Scotland Tory free altogether by voting SNP for a fairer, more prosperous Scotland.”

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