How does the rate of duty on Scotch Whisky compare with that on other alcoholic liquors?

The Excise Duty paid on mature spirits is the same regardless of whether they are produced in this country or abroad. Scotch Whisky is not protected in any way against competition from spirits produced overseas, even those from the countries which themselves discriminate against imports of Scotch Whisky.

At the same time Scotch Whisky is now much more heavily taxed than most competing drinks. Scotch Whisky is therefore discriminated against when competing in the UK market against imported wines.

The only reduction in the Excise Duty since the last century was that made in 1973. when the rate was lowered to compensate for the extra taxation which resulted from the introduction of Value Added Tax. By contrast, during the last few years more than once there have been reductions in the duty on high strength wines such as Sherry and Port, on sparkling wines, on beer and on British wines which are made largely from imported grape juice.

© SWA 1995