Daily Management Review

Burns Night Marked with Call for Tax Cut by Whiskey Industry


Burns Night Marked with Call for Tax Cut by Whiskey Industry
The birth anniversary of poet Robert Burns is very often celebrated across the world with dancing, a bite of Haggis and of course, a few nips of whisky and Wednesday was that day.
But that very day is being viewed in a different manner by whiskey makers from Scotland. Demanding that it is time for the so-called "water of life" to receive a tax cut, the Scottish Whisky Association (SWA) raised the slogan on the day Scotland's most famous poet is remembered.
There are a number of reasons that the SWA put forward tin support of its demand. It wants a change in the tax system where for every bottle of whiskey produced in Scotland, 77 percent of the cost goes to the U.K. taxman. The association demanded this arrangement to be changed in a statement Wednesday.
"We are calling on the government to address the high and unfair level of taxation that distillers face in their home market.
"The current tax of 77% on an average priced bottle of Scotch is a burden on consumers and the industry," said Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association acting chief executive.
According to research commissioned by the industry as much as £5 billion ($6.25 billion) a year is contributed by the Scotch whisky to the U.K. economy.
With whisky exports from the U.K. estimated to be worth about £4 billion in 2015, Scottish Whisky was the single biggest net contributor to the UK's balance of trade at £3.7 billion in the same year, suggested official U.K. statistics.
Claiming that the move would further boost recent growth in the sector, the  SWA want the U.K. government to cut excise by 2% in next month's Budget.
Including 7,000 in rural areas, more than 40,000 jobs were supported by the industry across the UK, the industry representative said. And the prospect of the industry is good as 7 distilleries are under construction in 2017 alone and an an estimated 14 new distilleries have opened up since 2013, it said.
As global sales of haggis hit their annual peak, whisky won't be the only heavy seller over the celebration.
A savory pudding containing sheep's offal (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet and spices is Haggis and is considered to be a Scottish delicacy.
On Burns night they sell more than a million units of the 'chieftain o' the puddin'-race', claims leading Scottish haggis brand Macsween.
Between 2011 and 2015, the UK exported £4.85 million of haggis to 28 countries, according to U.K. government figures. Reported to be the biggest buyers of haggis outside the UK are the countries of Ireland, France, Spain and Hong Kong.

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