70% want Scotch whisky tax to match EU levels

More than 70% of of Scots believe UK tax on Scotch whisky should be at least as competitive as the EU average, according to a new poll.

Tuesday, 11th September 2018, 11:13 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th September 2018, 11:15 am
70% of Scots want the tax to match the EU level
70% of Scots want the tax to match the EU level

Excise duty on spirits in the UK is 76% higher than the EU average, at £28.74 per litre of pure alcohol, compared to £16.31 in the EU.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said currently £3 in every £4 spent on an average-priced bottle of Scotch in the UK is tax.

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In a Survation poll commissioned by the SWA, 72% of the 1,040 adults in Scotland surveyed agreed that as UK trading relationships with EU countries change through Brexit, tax on Scotch whisky in the UK should be at least as competitive as the EU average.

A total of 17% were neutral while 5% disagreed and the remainder said they did not know.

More than half (57%) of respondents said the UK Government should do more to support the Scotch whisky industry, which is responsible for a fifth of all UK food and drink exports, worth more than £4 billion a year.

Meanwhile, more than a third (38%) believe it is already doing enough and 5% thought it should do less.

The findings of the poll, carried out between August 29 and September 3, come as the SWA calls for a continued freeze on spirit duty in the Autumn Budget.

SWA chief executive Karen Betts said: “It is inconceivable France would hamstring its wine industry through heavy taxation.