politics

Autumn Budget 2021 could see price of gin and tonic or dram of Scotch whisky rise by 5%


The spirits industry fears increases for whisky, gin and other spirits will hamper their recovery after Covid and Brexit and Chancellor Rishi Sunak is being urged not to hike duty

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MARCH 19: Bottles of whisky on display in the Diageo Claive Vidiz Collection, the world's largest collection of Scottish Whisky on display at The Scotch Whisky Experience on March 19, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland
Rishi Sunak is being urged not to hike duty on spirits

The price of a gin and tonic or a dram of Scotch whisky could increase by as much as 5% in next week’s Budget.

Rishi Sunak is being urged not to hike duty on spirits in line with inflation as part of his plan to overhaul the UK’s alcohol taxes .

The Chancellor’s plans could see the cost of sparkling wine falling and some taxes on beer cut as well.

But the spirits industry fears it could also mean increases for whisky, gin and other spirits which they say will hamper their recovery after Covid and Brexit.

It comes after a major report suggested freezing alcohol duty – which is already under review by the Government – could boost the hospitality industry after the pandemic.

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Rishi Sunak will unveil his budget
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Image:

Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)



Graeme Littlejohn of the Scotch Whisky Association said: “The UK already applies one of the highest levels of duty in the world to whisky and other spirits.

“It’s more highly taxed than wine, beer or cider.

“Rather than increasing the level of tax still further, we’re asking the Chancellor to back us as he has in the past , and to let us do our bit to support the economic recovery.”




The current duties system raises about £12bn for Treasury coffers every year but depends on the type and strength of the alcohol.

There are 15 different bands of taxation – three for beer, five for cider, six for wine and one for spirits – which seem to have little connection with each other.


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