Gavin Newlands, the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has used a speech at Westminster to praise the contribution that the whisky industry makes to the national economy, and has called on the Chancellor to provide more support to the sector.
Gavin supported his SNP colleagues and the Scotch Whisky Association in calling for a 2% cut to excise duty on spirits in the Budget next week in a bid to boost the Scotch whisky industry.
Gavin also spoke about the vital role that Renfrewshire plays in the success of the whisky industry, speaking about the Chivas and Diageo plants that are based in the area and which employ over 1,000 people.
Gavin Newlands MP said:
“The whisky industry is one of the star performers of the UK economy. It supports over 43,000 jobs across the UK are contributes £5billion to our national economy.
“We cannot stress enough the importance of the whisky industry to Scotland; it’s part of our DNA and we’re famous all over the world for being the home of whisky. In 2013, over 1.1 million visits were made to Scotch whisky distilleries with many of these visitors coming from all corners of the globe to sample some Scotch whisky and see how it is distilled.
“Renfrewshire is also extremely important to the wider success with the Chivas and Diageo plants being based in the area – helping to support over a thousand jobs.”
“It is unfortunate that the average-priced bottle of whisky is subject to 76% tax – making it the fourth highest rates in Europe. Due to the important role that Scotch makes to the Scottish, and the UK economy, I don’t believe the government is doing enough to support this important industry.
“The Chancellor should now listen to the SNP and the industry itself, and deliver this cut in excise duty in the Budget so that we can support the industry by building a home market that encourages growth and stimulates long-term investment.”