The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has stepped up pressure on the UK government to implement a two-per-cent cut in excise for scotch, citing figures that suggest the drink is the biggest net contributor to the UK’s trade in goods, with an export value of up to £4 billion.
In a press release, the SWA says the spirit it represents is "a star performer for the UK economy in overseas markets and without its success, Britain would have a substantially larger trade deficit".
The body emphasises the scotch sector's domestic self-sufficiency, noting that it only has to import resources to its supply chain worth £200 million, leaving the industry with a balance of £3.8 billion.
In its new report, Economic Impact of Scotch Whisky Production in the UK, it says the value scotch adds to the UK economy is up by 1.6 per cent to £5 billion; that the industry invests £1.7 billion a year in its supply chain (which is predominantly domestic); that scotch whisky supports salaries worth £1.4 billion to UK workers; and that the industry supports about 40,000 jobs.
Its CEO, David Frost, said, "These figures re-emphasise how significant the Scotch Whisky industry is to the Scottish and wider UK economy, adding more than £5 billion of value and supporting around 40,000 jobs. But it may surprise some people that Scotch whisky is now the number one contributor to the UK's balance of trade in goods, and that the trade deficit would be 11 per cent higher without whisky exports.
"Given the scale and impact of the Scotch whisky industry, we believe the government should re-double its efforts to support distillers. At home, in the short term, a further 2 per cent duty cut in next month's Budget would be a major boost, supporting small businesses that rely on the home market and further investment in the sector."
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Peter Donnelly. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.