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Press Release: Brendan O’Hara MP fiercely condemns UK Government’s decision to increase spirit duty by 10%


Categories: News

Argyll & Bute MP, Brendan O’Hara has fiercely condemned the UK government’s decision to increase spirit duty by 10% in last week’s budget and has called on the Chancellor to come to the House of Commons to explain to MPs why he has chosen to impose such a massive tax hike on an iconic Scottish industry, a tax hike which he says will threaten jobs and investment in what are already economically fragile, rural communities where whisky is produced.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, the day after the announcement, Mr O’Hara said that the decision to increase duty was one “which not only could destroy a hugely successful Scottish industry, but at the same time potentially kill the goose that has for so many years laid the Treasury’s golden egg”, a reference to the fact that currently Scotch whisky generates £5.5 billion for the UK treasury, and accounts for 25% of all food and drink exports from the UK.

The government’s decision has also come under attack from the Scotch Whisky Association which described this tax increase as a “historic blow” to the whisky industry and one which will cripple already struggling distilleries, as well as the hospitality and tourist industry.

Mr. O’Hara has written to the Chancellor asking him to explain his decision and is hopeful of securing a debate in the House of Commons, one which would allow MPs to fully examine the impact of this decision on the industry and the economy of rural Scotland.