24 September 2018

MSP Calls on Tories to Freeze Excise Duty Ahead of Brexit Fall-Out

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has warned fresh analysis shows why excise duty must be frozen in the upcoming UK budget.

It comes after it was revealed Scottish Whisky production has slumped each time excise duty has been hiked.

The figures were released by Scottish Parliament Information Centre analysis.

Warnings have already been made about the impact a damaging hard Brexit could have, with unnecessary tariffs on Scotland’s most lucrative exports.

SPICe research also shows that the Scottish Government’s proactive support for start-ups helped 30 new distilleries open their doors between 2016 and 2017. This brought the total number of distilleries across Scotland to 220 last year, over a third increase since 2010.

Commenting, Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“With damning new evidence that the UK Treasury’s excise duty hikes are causing whisky production to plummet, and likewise production soars with tax cuts – it’s obvious Philip Hammond needs to freeze the Tories’ tax on this global success story in the upcoming budget.

“Providing certainty that the Scotch Whisky industry won’t face further tax hikes from Westminster is the least the Tories can do as their blind Brexit threatens unnecessary and damaging tariffs on one of the country’s most lucrative exports.

“The European Union has already warned that the bourbon market will be targeted in any tit for tat tariff battle with Donald Trump - and in any such trade war with America, Scotch Whisky’s biggest export market, the UK will have little clout to protect Scotch Whisky without the weight of the world's largest trading bloc, the EU-27, behind us.

“We cannot afford to put Scotch Whisky in the hands of the Tory Brexiteers, who think they can do whatever they want to Scotland and get away with it.”

Stewart Stevenson
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