UK distillers write to Chancellor Sajid Javid calling for duty freeze and reform

Distillers across the country have today written to Chancellor Sajid Javid asking him to support the UK’s spirits industry in this year’s Budget by freezing and reforming spirits duty.

Supporters of the UK Spirits Alliance (UKSA), which launched in July, include:

  • The British Distillers Alliance – which has more than 130 members
  • The Gin Co-Operative, who have more than 80 Scottish gin makers
  • International companies including Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Bacardi

The letter recognises that Government has in recent years “backed our industry with a stable excise duty regime” but notes that spirits duty in the UK still remains among the highest in the world, with UK consumers paying over 70 per cent excise duty on national drinks such as Scotch Whisky and gin — with the tax on a typical £14 bottle currently £10.38.

“With that in mind”, write the distillers, “we … ask you to support the UK Spirits Alliance campaign to fix excise duty – first by freezing it for the length of this parliament, then reforming it … Government should join us in celebrating the global thirst for British drinks, backing jobs, growth and UK success by fixing spirits duty.”

The letter features signatories from all corners of the country, with sign-ups as far apart as Badachro in the Scottish Highlands and Delabole in Cornwall – some 720 miles apart, or 13 hours by road. Distillers from London (population 8.7 million), Manchester (530,000) and Aberdeen (228,000) have signed, as have those from the Isle of Jura (200). Additionally, it is signed by international companies, including Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Bacardi, as well as craft and micro-distillers such as Silent Pool Gin and Didsbury Gin, the Manchester-based duo featured on BBC’s Dragon’s Den.

The full letter can be viewed here:

UK Spirits Alliance letter to the Chancellor