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SNP calls for freeze on Scotch tax duty

THE SNP has called for a freeze on duty paid on whisky ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

The production of Scotch employs about 42,000 people, generating £6.2 billion in exports, but the industry fears that if reports that Jeremy Hunt is going to raise duty by 15 per cent come to fruition on Wednesday, it could cost the sector £100 million.

SNP business & trade spokesman Richard Thomson has joined calls from Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross for a freeze on duty. 

Mr Thompson said: “The UK government continues to squeeze the life out of the Scotch whisky industry — an industry that plays a pivotal role in Scotland’s economy.

“The UK government should instead be focusing on investing and protecting the long-term future of the Scottish whisky industry.”

A Treasury spokesman said: “Scotch has received nine cuts or freezes at the last 10 budgets.

“We have also acted to remove punitive tariffs on Scotch whisky imposed on the US market and are committed to protecting the interests of Scotch whisky in trading agreements.”

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