Scots Say the UK Government Should Do More for Whisky Industry
Should the UK Government be doing more for the whisky industry in Scotland? Over 50% of Scottish people would say this is the case. It is such an essential part of Scottish heritage that so many people, all over the world, associate whisky with this country. There is a clear passion that you can’t escape, and the implications of challenging economic sanctions are questionable.
Government Changes Implementing Unease
The SWA, or Scottish Whisky Association, recently took this question to a vote and it was overwhelmingly clear in the response that the Tory government is not in favour. One of the biggest messages to shine through concerned the autumn statement of last year from chancellor, Jeremy Hunt. It is here that Scotland wished to see a freeze on Scotch whisky duty and the voice was overwhelmingly both clear and powerful.
It is no major secret that whisky is a firm staple in the Scottish economy and contributes to both employment factors and country-wide revenue factors. A single malt bottle can bring in millions, and whisky investment is a very real, very tangible venture. So, when the 10.1% increase for duty on whisky was introduced by this government, it definitely caused some major waves. There are over 140 distilleries in the country and these all play a major role in both its history and its future. It is clear that whisky influences the tourism vibe in Scotland, with so many of these establishments providing activities, tours, and interesting snippets of history throughout the seasons. To put a tax on that source of financial stability is questionable.
The Scottish people are definitely taking on the mantle of this cause and striving for better, more sustainable solutions and an increased level of support from the Tory government. It is difficult to envision a future where Scotland does not have the means to support the thriving whisky economy and it is all up in the air as to what that will mean in terms of both policy restrictions and tax implications in the next five years. There are natural demands for this pivotal industry to be better supported and seen for the value that it truly holds. How can such an important part of culture, economy, and history be negatively impacted in this way? The SWA continues to conduct thorough research into this question and uses the voice of the people to justify its strong stance on the matter.
While the UK political party has assured that there is nothing to fear, they are not entirely taking the message on board. There have definitely been spokespersons claiming that “punitive tariffs” are removed, but there remains too much scope for misinterpretation.
Is enough being done? This question will never be left alone.