Well there must be pigs flying past a blue moon as I find myself in agreement with Gordy Broon's Licensing Minister Gerry Sutcliffe! He has broken with his Ministerial colleague and said that publicans were "right to be upset" with the tax hikes imposed by Chancellor Alistair Darling in his recent budget.
The budget put 4p on a pint of beer, 3p on a pint of cider, 14p on a bottle of wine and a whopping 55p on a bottle of spirits.
Gavin Hewitt, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said:
"Scottish distillers are astonished by the Chancellor’s announcement. The government’s own figures show that any duty increase on whisky is likely to reduce revenue at a time when public finances are tight.
A tax rise is a blow to international competitiveness when the industry has been investing
significantly to meet growing global demand for Scotch Whisky. It sets a damaging precedent
that export markets may follow.
Today’s introduction of a two percent above inflation ‘alcohol tax accelerator’ in future Budgets abandons moves to a fairer alcohol duty system in the UK and reverses the Treasury’s long held position that it must retain flexibility when setting alcohol duty rates.
The Budget will add 59 pence (excise tax and VAT) to the price of a bottle of Scotch Whisky and will push the tax burden on the final price of a typical bottle towards 75%."
Today’s duty rise is the biggest on Scotch Whisky since 1991. Despite its importance to the
domestic economy, UK excise duty on Scotch Whisky is now the fourth highest in the European Union."