GMB Scotland Defending Your Interests
Join GMB today

UK Budget Reaction – Spirits Duty Increase

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

GMB Scotland slams “unhelpful measure” as Chancellor hikes spirits duty

Responding this afternoon (Wednesday 15 March) to the Chancellor’s budget announcement that spirits duties will rise in line with inflation from August, GMB Scotland Secretary Louise Gilmour warned:

“It’s yet another unhelpful political measure for Scotland’s whisky and spirits sector, following hard on the back of Holyrood proposals for an alcohol advertising ban.  

“GMB’s concern is that workers mired in the cost-of-living crisis will see their pay, conditions, and ultimately investment in their workplaces, curtailed by employers seeking to clawback costs as a consequence of short-term political policy.

"Let’s also be clear, workers are facing tough international competition and they are still dealing with the damaging legacy of Trump’s whisky tariffs while Truss and Johnson were sleeping at the wheel - this latest tax increase risks leaving them even further behind.

“Whisky and spirits production is the jewel in the crown of Scotland’s world-class food and drinks sector, but the political bubble looks out of touch about its importance not just to the country, but to the workers, communities, and supply-chains that depend on its future growth.”


Contact: GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077 or email