Kin­tyre dis­til­leries wel­come bud­get’s spir­its duty freeze

Campbeltown Courier - - NEWS -

One of Kin­tyre’s old­est dis­til­leries and one of its new­est have wel­comed the de­ci­sion to con­tinue the freeze on spir­its duty, writes Han­nah O’Han­lon. In Chan­cel­lor of the Ex­che­quer Philip Ham­mond’s au­tumn bud­get, the duty rate on spir­its re­mains £28.74 per litre of pure al­co­hol. Man­age­ment at Glen Sco­tia Dis­tillery, a pro­ducer of sin­gle malt Scotch whisky, founded in 1832, and Beinn an Tuirc Dis­tillers, a sus­tain­able gin pro­ducer which of­fi­cially opened in Au­gust this year, have praised the de­ci­sion. Glen Sco­tia man­ager Iain McAlis­ter said: ‘I think this is the cor­rect de­ci­sion, af­ter all the spir­its in­dus­try is one of the most heav­ily taxed in Europe and this freeze will only help to boost fur­ther in­vest­ment and ex­pan­sion of one of the United King­dom’s most suc­cess­ful ex­ports. ‘For the chan­cel­lor to have the fore­sight and avoid any ad­di­tional tax hikes is vi­tal for hard pressed ru­ral economies, where the whisky in­dus­try is such a big part of lo­cal life.’ Niall Ma­cal­is­ter Hall, di­rec­tor of Beinn an Tuirc Dis­tillers, said: ‘We’re de­lighted duty has been frozen. For a small pro­ducer in what is only our sec­ond year of pro­duc­tion, any price rise would have had to be passed to the con­sumer. ‘In a very com­pet­i­tive mar­ket such as gin, where new pro­duc­ers are ar­riv­ing on the scene on an al­most daily ba­sis, this could have im­pacted on our com­pet­i­tive­ness and driven down sales. ‘If you look at the duty that is paid on a bot­tle of 70cl Kin­tyre Gin, then it al­ready equates to £8.65, which is a con­sid­er­able per­cent­age of the re­tail price.’ While taxes on spir­its, beer and cider have all been frozen, wine duty is set to rise by 3.1 per cent.

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