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Scotch whiskey contributes £5bn to British economy: SWA

DBR Staff Writer Published 29 January 2015

The Scotch whiskey industry contributes close to £5bn to the UK economy a year, according to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).


The SWA-commissioned report, The Economic Impact of Scotch Whisky Production in the UK, states that Scotch whiskey is bigger than a number of industries, such as iron and steel, textiles, shipbuilding and computing.

According to the figures released by the report, the Scotch whiskey industry supports 40,300 jobs across various sectors such as glass manufacturing and labeling in the UK, up from around 35,000 in 2008.

SWA CEO David Frost said: "This new report shows just how significant the Scotch Whisky industry is to the wider UK economy, adding £5bn of value, supporting over 40,000 jobs, and contributing £4bn to Britain's trade performance.

"Given the scale and impact of the Scotch Whisky industry we believe the government should show its support. One way of doing so, in the short term, would be for the Chancellor to cut excise duty by 2% in the March Budget. It is unfair on the industry and consumers, and detrimental to the economy, that almost 80% of the average price of a bottle of Scotch is taxation."

The report also highlights that Scotch whiskey industry is rapidly increasing with around 30 new distilleries being planned or built across Scotland, despite a slowdown in exports.

The investment in the industry has increased by 31% to £142m in 2013.

Image: Despite a slowdown in exports, the Scotch Whisky industry is expanding with around 30 new distilleries being planned or built across Scotland. Photo: courtesy of Suat Eman / freedigitalphotos.