Drinks trade groups have welcomed the appointment of Liz Truss as the next prime minister, but they have warned that the industry is facing major challenges.
Mark Kent, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said Truss takes office at a critical time, “with the cost-of-living crisis at the forefront of minds”.
“Ahead of the Autumn Budget, it is vital that the UK government abandons the planned RPI increase on spirits duty,” he said. “An RPI increase – in the region of 12% – would compound the cost of business pressures companies are facing, with already significant supply chain inflation and volatility, add at least 95p of duty alone onto every bottle of Scotch whisky, and further fuel inflation.”
He said previous duty freezes have been a “clear sign of support” for the Scotch whisky industry.
Meanwhile, Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) highlighted the need for Truss to tackle energy prices.
“I would like to offer my congratulations to the Rt Hon Liz Truss on her announcement as prime minister today,” said McClarkin. “It is crucial that the new Government hits the ground running and put plans in place to urgently tackle the rocketing energy prices which are putting pubs and brewers in real jeopardy.”
She said rising costs could have a worse impact than the pandemic in terms of business closures and subsequent job losses.
“This is why we have written to the new prime minister today calling for urgent investment in our sector which will enable us to weather the storm and play a key role in the prime minister’s plan for growth.”