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Scottish Tory MPs calling for Budget support for Scotland’s big two industries: oil and whisky

28 Oct 2018

The Chancellor can deliver a Budget for two of Scotland’s key industries, oil and whisky, by guaranteeing a stable tax regime for them both, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

The oil and whisky industries both support thousands of jobs across Scotland directly and indirectly. With the backing of the UK Government, they have been able to invest in infrastructure projects and create skilled jobs throughout Scotland and the UK.

The future for both industries is bright. A recent report from Aberdeen University on the North Sea oil has predicted that 17 billion barrels of oil equivalent are still to be extracted from the North Sea, while figures for the first half of this year on Scotch whisky show exports have increased in value by 10.8% to £1.97 billion compared with the same period in 2017.

The Scottish Conservatives have been making a positive case to the Treasury for continued support for these key sectors which will deliver on Scotland’s priorities. This week Scottish Conservative MPs John Lamont and Douglas Ross reiterated the case for Scotch whisky by writing to the Chancellor.

Commenting MP for Moray, Douglas Ross said:

“The number of Scotch whisky distilleries in Moray represents more than 40% of all Scotch distilleries, they are a vital employer in the area and bring a huge boost in tourism.

“Scotch whisky is world renowned and an export powerhouse. The thriving industry brings many economic benefits to rural communities not just in Moray but the whole of Scotland.

“Thanks to the Conservative spirit duty freeze in previous years it has only gone from strength to strength, my Scottish Conservatives colleagues are determined to see this continue.”

Commenting MP for Aberdeen South, Ross Thomson said:

“The Conservative UK Government has taken unprecedented action to support the Oil and Gas sector over the years. This cannot be said for the SNP Scottish Government.

“UK Government policy has resulted in the oil and gas tax regime being one of the most generous in the world, but we need the stability and predictability to continue to help sustain this vital industry. It will protect jobs and investment.

“Scottish Conservatives have raised the profile of the industry at the highest levels of government and made the case for fiscal stability above all else. We hope the outcome on Monday will be a positive one.”