SWA urges freeze on spirits duty

22 February, 2008

The Scotch Whisky Association has warned the Treasury

a duty freeze on spirits is "crucial" to safeguard the future of the industry.

SWA chief executive Gavin Hewitt discussed the association's 2008 Budget submission with Treasury Secretary Angela Eagle at a meeting on Wednesday.

A 10-year duty freeze on spirits and a government under pressure to find a solution to binge drinking

has led to speculation that Chancellor Al istair Darling will

hike up duty on all alcohol in this year's Budget announcement on March 12.

SWA spokesman David Williamson said increasing duty on Scotch would be "ineffective and unjustified" because duty already makes up more than 71 per cent of the price of whisky.

He said: "Alcohol duty in the UK is among the highest in the world, so if high duty rates were the solution we wouldn't be having these problems."

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