Boris Johnson promises major review of whisky duty

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged a major review of whisky duty if his Conservative Party wins the general election next month.

Mr Johnson announced the move and signalled potential tax breaks for the industry on a visit to the Diageo-owned Roseisle Maltings distillery outside Elgin, The Press and Journal reports.

The commitment has been welcomed by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), which has called on all parties to commit to reform of alcohol duty.

SWA chief executive Karen Betts said: “This announcement is welcome, and opens the door to reforming a broken system in which large inconsistencies between alcohol categories put Scotch whisky and the wider UK spirits industry at a competitive disadvantage.

“A simplified alcohol duty regime in the UK to better reflect alcohol content would be fairer for consumers, increase competitiveness and, according to robust, independent economic research, remain an important driver of tax revenue to support public services.

“Of course, the devil is in the detail and we look forward to working with HM Treasury officials on our detailed proposals submitted ahead of the Budget to ensure we have an alcohol tax system fit for the 21st century.”