Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has called for a 2.5% cut in whisky duty to help stimulate the Scottish economy.
Mr Gibson was commenting after independent economic consultant GEN said that a 2.5% cut could have release £733 million into the Scottish economy. Double the benefit of the equivalent cut in VAT which was put in place at the last Pre-Budget Report.
Mr Gibson said....
"The whisky industry throughout the Highlands and Islands is of great importance not only to the local economy but to that of the Nation also. It helps support jobs and create positive economic circumstances in remote and rural areas which often really needs it."
"A cut would have the dual benefits of bolstering flagging treasury funds whilst helping to protect local jobs thus strengthen small communities which work hard to produce this valuable product."
"Therefore it is incumbent on government to support the industry. However instead of cutting the duty Chancellor Alasdair Darling was set to increase duty last year . It was only the SNP that forced him to back down."
"The benefits to the industry of a cut in duty cannot be ignored and so it is up to the Scotland Office and Labour in Scotland to join with the SNP and call for a cut to help stimulate the local and national economy."