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Scotch Whisky market in UK drops 5% in 2014, industry demands fairer tax

DBR Staff Writer Published 16 March 2015

The Scotch whisky market in the UK has shrunk by almost 5% as consumers and industry continue to be impacted by the heavy tax regime.

The tax is approximately 80% as a share of the price of an average bottle of the drink.

The figures, published by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), show that the number of 70cl bottles of Scotch released for sale in the UK last year dropped 4.78% to 83.3 million from 87.5 million in 2013.

According to the figures from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) , the market for Scotch in the UK has seen a decline of 9.5% from 92 million bottles since 2009.

The SWA stated that the heavy taxation of 78% as a share of the price of an average bottle of Scotch is negatively impacting the domestic industry, which significantly supports the country's economy.

The Scotch whisky industry adds value of £5bn to the UK economy annually and provides about 40,000 jobs.

The SWA has urged Chancellor George Osborne to decrease duty by 2% in the upcoming budget, which will be presented on 18 March.

Scotch Whisky Association chief executive David Frost said: "Scotch Whisky is a massive export success for the UK so it's obviously disappointing to see this decline in volumes in our domestic market."

"In last year's Budget, the Chancellor highlighted Scotch Whisky as a 'huge British success story'. We hope this year too he will show his support for this world-class manufacturing industry."