SWA welcomes the British government's support package
In early July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the annual summer economic update in the British Parliament. During his speech, he told about a package of measures supporting employment during the crisis, which is to provide companies with certainty of maintaining their presence on the market, and people with the tools needed to find a job. The Scotch Whisky Association welcomed unprecedented support from the government, praising the Chancellor's proposals in a published statement.
Employment support proposals are part of the second stage of the three-phase recovery plan for the UK economy after the pandemic. The first stage was a support package of GBP 160 billion, which went to over a million companies through subsidies, loans or interest rate cuts. Currently, as the United Kingdom enters the second phase of economic recovery, the government has decided to focus on supporting the labor market by creating conditions for professional development for citizens and creating new jobs by investing in projects, with particular emphasis on ecological projects, as well as protecting existing jobs by VAT reduction for the hospitality industry and the Eat Out to Help Out discount program.
Support for Scotch Whisky industry
The Scotch Whisky Association in a statement published on their website positively commented on the government's proposals saying that the allocated funds will help companies overcome the crisis related with the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our industry welcomes the unprecedented support that the Treasury has rapidly put in place to support businesses and their employees over the past three months. The Chancellor has once again risen to the challenge in the package of measures announced today to help stimulate economic recovery. The job retention bonus, kickstart scheme and incentives to take on apprentices will all help employers retain as many jobs as possible. We particularly welcome the focus on young people, whose working futures are most at risk, particularly in the hospitality and tourism sectors with which our industry works hand-in-hand” – said SWA Chief Executive Karen Betts. “It is very good to see measures that encourage people to visit pubs, bars and restaurants once again – to socialise and to support those businesses - alongside a clear message from government that it is safe to enjoy a dram once again in a bar near you. Today’s announcements will also support Scotch Whisky tourism and the reopening of Scotch Whisky distillery visitor centres over the summer. We are looking forward to further discussions with the Chancellor and his team ahead of the autumn budget. A cut in spirits duty would continue to support the Scotch Whisky industry, hospitality and retail sectors – and all the evidence is that cuts to excise boost government revenues, making an excise cut a win-win measure that would also secure hundreds of millions of pounds of investment across the UK”.