§ 28. Mr. Kennedy
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the implications of his Budget for the Scotch whisky industry; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Ryder
Excise duties on Scotch whisky have not been raised since 1985. Since then the RPI has risen by over 28 per cent. Scotch whisky exports continue to grow strongly and account for some 85 per cent. of turnover. The industry remains successful and profitable and recently six distilleries reopened. The Budget increase in excise duty should have only a marginal effect on sales in the United Kingdom. Even after the Budget increase, the total tax on a bottle of scotch will have fallen by nearly 20 per cent. in real terms since May 1979.