The vital role Scotch whisky plays in the economy, not just of Scotland but the UK as a whole, will be debated in the House of Commons on Thursday February 12, thanks to Alan Reid MP.
The Speaker of the House, John Bercow, granted the Argyll and Bute MP's request for the debate. Mr Reid said: "Almost £5 billion a year is added to the UK economy by the Scotch whisky industry. This is a vital part of the UK economy."
A major report commissioned by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has just been launched: "The Economic Impact of Scotch Whisky Production in the UK."
Alan Reid welcomed the industry’s economic contribution at a Parliamentary event last Wednesday hosted by the SWA to mark the new report, which was attended by members of the industry’s supply chain and MPs.
"I represent a constituency where the whisky industry provides good quality employment in remote and rural locations. The whisky industry is clearly vital to Islay and Jura. It also provides much needed employment in Campbeltown, Oban and Tobermory", said Mr Reid.
At the launch of the Report, David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: “Our new report shows just how significant the industry is to the wider UK economy. Given the scale and impact of the industry, we believe the government should show its support and recognise Scotch as a cultural asset that boosts growth and jobs and supports communities by cutting excise duty by two per cent in the Budget.”
Mr Reid will tell the Commons on Thursday that due to the many jobs in the whisky industry, the Government should help by cutting excise duty by 2% in the Budget. In last year’s Budget the Chancellor cancelled the alcohol duty escalator, and he should give this important industry more help this year. It is unfair on the industry and consumers that almost 80% of the average price of a bottle of Scotch Whisky is taxation.
Wednesday’s event at the House of Commons was hosted by the SWA and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Scotch Whisky of which Mr Reid is vice chair.