Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Whisky industry is being treated as the Chancellor’s cash cow’ - Angus Robertson

Moray’s MP Angus Robertson and MSP Richard Lochhead have condemned the Tory budget increase in whisky duty, which will see the tax on a bottle of whisky reach 79 percent and increase the average bottle price by nearly 40p.

The SNP’s Angus Robertson, who has long campaigned for a fairer whisky taxation regime, says the key Moray industry is being treated as the 'Chancellor’s cash cow'.

MSP Richard Lochhead, who is a vocal supporter of Scotland’s food and drink sector has described the rise as ‘appalling’, coming at a time when the whisky sector is making massive investment which will provide substantial income to the Treasury in years to come.

Angus Robertson MP said:

“The Tories are persistently and unfairly targeting the Scotch Whisky Industry with year on year tax rises. This key Moray industry is being treated as the Chancellor’s cash cow.

“Incredibly excise duty on whisky is now 21 percent higher than it was in 2010 and it seems that this vital industry for Moray is being used to prop up continued austerity budgets.

“This is a totally unacceptable situation for a sector that supports literally thousands of jobs in Moray and the SNP will oppose these Tory budget plans.”

Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“While the Scottish Government is supporting our vital food and drink sector with investment support the Tories at Westminster seem determined to hit the whisky industry ever harder with tax at a time when the industry is investing in the future.

“These whisky tax rises are appalling. You’d think the Chancellor would be better off supporting the huge investment being made by major brands like Macallan, which will undoubtedly result in substantial income for the treasury in future years, but instead he seems intent on undermining these efforts.

“Whisky production accounts for thousands of direct and indirect jobs in Moray alone, from agriculture to maltings to mechanical and electrical engineering on top of the jobs in the distilleries themselves. This latest increase is simply a tax on Moray.”

Analysis from the Scotch Whisky Association can be found at: http://www.scotch-whisky.org.uk/news-publications/blog/what-the-budget-means-for-scotch/#.WMEzJG-LR9N