In his capacity as chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Scotch Whisky, Brendan O’Hara SNP MP for Argyll & Bute led a delegation of parliamentarians to The Treasury yesterday to press the Chancellor to repeat last year’s 2% reduction in spirit duty.
In what he described as a “positive and constructive” meeting with Damian Hinds MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Mr O’Hara, whose constituency is home to some of the most instantly recognised and most popular whisky brands in the world pointed out that last year’s duty cut had had the double benefit of both increasing investor confidence in the industry and actually increasing the tax take accruing to the Treasury.
After the meeting Mr O’Hara said “Whisky is one of the mainstays of our economy in Argyll & Bute and I’m delighted that it’s economic impact is growing bigger and bigger. Across Scotland in the past two years there have been nine new distilleries built and there are another forty planned over the next two decades. The government can’t just treat this industry as a cash-cow and I sincerely hope they build on last year’s success by announcing a further reduction in duty in this year’s Budget. There is a bright future for the whisky industry and that means a bright future for Argyll & Bute”