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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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2.5% WHISKY DUTY CUT COULD BENEFIT SCOTTISH ECONOMY BY £733M

Thursday, 19 February 2009

SECRETARY OF STATE MURPHY MUST ARGUE FOR FAIRER TAXATION FOR KEY BANFFSHIRE INDUSTRY

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford has seized on figures from independent economic consultant GEN which reveal a 2.5% cut in whisky duty could have generated £733m for the Scottish economy – double the benefit of the equivalent cut in VAT which was put in place at the last Pre-Budget Report.

The whisky industry is vital to Banffshire and Moray and Ms Whiteford was delighted to attend the official re-opening of the Glenglassaugh Distillery recently.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

"The whisky sector is one of Scotland's key industries both in export, earnings and employment terms, and the Government has a responsibility to support it.

"Instead of implementing this measure which would have been hugely beneficial, the Chancellor hid a whisky tax hike in his Pre-Budget Report which would have been disastrous for the Scottish whisky industry.

"It was the SNP Group at Westminster who forced the Treasury to reconsider while the Scotland Office stood back and did nothing.

"Instead of picking fights with his colleagues in Edinburgh, Jim Murphy should step up to the mark and use these figures to argue for a fairer taxation regime for this Scottish vital industry."

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