Scotch Whisky's contribution to the UK economy grows

Scotch Whisky’s contribution to the UK economy has grown by 10% since 2016 to £5.5 billion, according to a new report by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

The report, which builds on research carried out by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), also reveals Scotland’s national drink generates two-thirds of all spirits Gross Value Added (GVA) in the UK.

The industry has also been buoyed by record exports reaching £4.7 billion in 2018, and several new distilleries beginning production and opening their doors to tourists.

Karen Betts, chief executive of the SWA, said: “This research shows the Scotch Whisky industry’s huge contribution to both the Scottish and UK economies.

“Significantly, the research shows that our industry’s GVA increased by 10% to £5.5 billion between 2016 and 2018, as a result of Scotch Whisky companies’ continued export success and the industry’s consistent investment at home – with over £500 million going into production, distribution, marketing and tourism in the last five years.

“Despite the challenges of Brexit, this investment continues to flow, with further projects planned and more distilleries set to open – a sign that the Scotch Whisky industry remains confident about the future. This is great news for our many employees, our investors, our supply chain, and of course, for consumers all over the world who love Scotch.

“This report also highlights the high rate of domestic tax that Scotch Whisky faces in the UK. In the US, Scotch and other whiskies are taxed at just 27% of the rate that HM Treasury taxes us here at home. We will continue to press the Chancellor for fairer treatment for Scotch Whisky in our domestic market, which reflects the vital economic contribution the industry makes to the UK economy every day.”

Scotch Whisky provides £3.8 billion in direct in GVA to Scotland – helped by regulations in place that requires all Scotch Whisky to be matured for at least three years in Scotland.

Rural Economu secretary Fergus Ewing MSP, said: “I welcome the contribution that the Scotch Whisky industry makes to the Scottish Economy.

“The industry’s performance is testament to the hard work of those who work in this important sector, making Scotch Whisky one of Scotland’s greatest global exports.”

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