On 11 September Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, met distillery workers and representatives of the Scotch Whisky Association to discuss the importance of the Scotch whisky industry to the economy.

Representing a fifth of UK food and drink exports, the industry generates more than £5bn for the economy per year and 40,000 jobs. At their event on 11 September, the Scotch Whisky Association called on the Chancellor to freeze alcohol duty in the Autumn Budget, extending measures set out in November 2017. Since its introduction in February, the freeze on spirits duty has returned more than £1.6bn, an increase of £114m on receipts during the same period in 2017.

MP for North Oxfordshire, Victoria Prentis said:

“Scotch whisky is one of the largest net contributors to the UK’s trade in goods, with 39 bottles shipped every second. A continued freeze is the best way to support the public finances and protect ongoing industry investment. Given its links to the economy and employment, we must ensure the industry remains competitive.”

Graeme Littlejohn, Deputy Director for the Scotch Whisky Association, said:

“Scotch Whisky is a success story for the economy, and we’re grateful for Victoria’s support. The industry’s success is based on the hard work of distillery workers across Scotland, and the members of our supply chain up and down the country. We have seen our industry deliver billions of pounds for the country in exports, and our members are continually investing in communities across Scotland.

“It is important that such successes are allowed to continue, and are supported by government. The Government’s own figures show the Chancellor was right to freeze alcohol duty in 2017, and that public finances have benefitted as a result. We believe continuing a freeze is a responsible and sensible way to ensure the Scotch Whisky industry can continue to thrive”