Budget 2015: Distillers toast first tax cut for spirits in 20 years

Budget 2015: Distillers toast first tax cut for spirits in 20 years

The Scotch Whisky Association has welcomed Chancellor George Osborne’sannouncement yesterday to cut the duty paid on spirits by 2 per cent -the first cut in spirits duty for 20 years.

The industry body, which has spent months lobbying for the break, said the move will benefit both producers and consumers.

The association’s chief executive, David Frost(pictured), said: “This is a historic decision and only the fourth time that whisky duty has been cut in a century.

“The move is a major boost to our industry as we look to grow again in the UK, and equally sends out an important signal on fair taxation to our export markets.”

The cut means that the duty on a 70cl bottle of Scotch, at an average price of £12.90, will reduce by 16p to £7.74, from £7.90 previously.

Mr Osborne also announced plans to cut the duty on beer and cider.

This is the third consecutive year that the chancellor has knocked a penny off the price of a pint of beer.

The British Beer and Pub Association welcomed the move and said it would create thousands of jobs for the industry, which already employs around 900,000 people.

Liz Cameron, chief executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, added: “The reduction in duty on beer, cider, whisky and other spirits is a very welcome boost to some of Scotland’s strongest growing and most innovative businesses and sends out a clear message that we value the contribution that these businesses make to our economy. In addition to the established whisky industry, Scotland is at the forefront of the rapidly expanding craft beer sector and these duty reductions will help these industries to prosper.”

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