HC Deb 20 December 1989 vol 164 cc282-3W
31. Mr. Gerald Howarth

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give details of the current state of the Scotch whisky industry.

Mr. Lang

The industry is enjoying a period of growth in both volume and value terms, and looks set for further growth.

56. Mr. Michael Brown

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give details of the numbers employed and the export performance of the Scottish whisky industry.

Mr. Lang

The total number of employees engaged in spirit distilling and compounding in Scotland in 1987 was 15,300, according to the census of employment conducted in September that year.

The table gives an indication of the industry's recent export performance.

Exports of Scotch Whisky
1987 1988 Percentage change 1987–88
Volume (mlpa) 240,174 245,973 + 2.4
Value (£ million) 1,135,514 1,288,771 +13.5

Note: mlpa = million litres of pure alcohol.

Source: Scotch Whisky Association.

In the year to September 1989 it is estimated that the value of whisky exports was 15 per cent. higher than in the year to September 1988.

Export prospects should be further improved by the tax reforms, presently under way in Japan and North Korea, which will ease the discrimination against Scotch whisky.

43. Mr. Harry Greenway

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many people are estimated to be working in the whisky trade in Scotland; what was the comparable figure 10 years ago; what are the capacities in which they are employed; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lang

The latest available information on employment in the industry in Scotland comes from the 1987 census of employment. The table shows the total number of employees in employment in the industry in September 1987 and September 1981, the nearest year to 1979 for which comparable estimates exist.

Spirit distilling and compounding—Employees in employment
1981 21,300
1987 15,300

Source: 1981 Census of Employment.

1987 Census of Employment.

Although no official statistics exist, a recent survey undertaken by the Scotch Whisky Association found that in September 1988 around one quarter of the total work force was engaged in the primary production of Scotch whisky, a further 40 per cent. worked directly in the blending and bottling plants, and the remaining third in administration and other support work.