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SWA Budget Submission to Treasury 2016

Fair Tax for Whisky: Stand up for Scotch

Following the March 2015 Budget, the Scotch Whisky industryraised a toast to the Chancellor as, for only the fourth time in the last one hundred years, duty on whisky was cut

Last year's 2% reduction in excise duty for spirit drinks was truly historic - the last time it happened, in 1996, only 4% of UK households had internet access, devolution of power from Westminster was yet to happen, and Dolly the Sheep was cloned.

Last year's decision by the Chancellor to support the industry through a cut in duty has boosted confidence in the sector, leading to more jobs and investment, including in some of our most fragile rural and urban communities. It has also catalysed increased revenues for HM Treasury, with spirits revenue up by 4%, or £96m, between April and December 2015.

Tax down. Revenues Up. Confidence boosted.

Although the 2% cut built on the positive steps taken in 2014 to remove the alcohol duty escalator one year early, and freeze spirits duty, further support is necessary to ensure the continued success of an industry which the Chancellor described as "one of the UK's biggest exports."

76% of an average priced bottle of Scotch is accounted for by tax. This is amongst the highest tax burden on any product in the UK and is unfair to responsible drinkers and producers. UK consumers also pay double the EU average of spirits excise duty.

In Budget 2016, the Scotch Whisky Association calls on the Chancellor to stand up for Scotch and take further action to make the taxation of whisky fairer.

The evidence set out in this submission will show that another 2% cut in excise duty on spirit drinks will help to support the public finances, promote investment and jobs across the UK, and continue the progress towards fairer taxation for one of the UK's most iconic and successful industries.

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