More tax hikes for whisky industry in UK Budget

The 2% duty rise on whisky announced in the 2009 Budget has been slammed by Westminster SNP Leader Angus Robertson MP, whose Moray constituency produces more than half of all Scotch malt whisky.

Mr Robertson, the Vice-Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Scotch Whisky Industry Group, said:

"Yet again the UK Government is treating the whisky industry as a cash cow. Only last year Labour Ministers announced record 17% in duty hikes, and now the pain continues. The whisky sector is one of the country’s key industries and it is a disgrace that the UK Treasury is treating it so badly."

The Budget bad news come just weeks after the Scottish Government secured rapid progress on the issue of better legal protection for Scotch whisky in China. As part of the Scottish Government’s business mission to China, First Minister Alex Salmond, the Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association Gavin Hewitt, the Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise Jack Perry, and the UK Ambassador to China Sir William Ehrman met with the Chinese Minister of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Wang Yong, to securing Geographic Indication of Origin Status for Scotch Whisky in China.

Securing Geographic Indication of Origin Status has been a vital issue for the industry, and the progress between the Scottish and Chinese Governments presents important commercial opportunities for Scotland.

Mr Robertson’s Moray constituency holds more than half of all Scotland's malt whisky distilleries. Moray contains over 40 distilleries in the heartland Malt whisky Speyside region including: Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Aberlour and Macallan.

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