A CALL for a new tax to be levied on whisky to ensure Scotland shares more of the industry’s success highlights the need for Holyrood to control the nation’s economic fate.
Justice minister Kenny MacAskill responded to the proposal from economist Professor John Kay by setting out the benefits of a successful ‘yes’ vote in next year’s referendum on Scottish independence.
Professor Kay told the BBC documentary Scotched Earth that the recent international success had brought “disappointing” benefits to Scotland.
He said that adding 10p of tax to each bottle of whisky (via the water used in distilling as Holyrood does not control excise duty) would bring Scotland at least £1 billion in revenue.
MacAskill said Scotland could share more profits from whisky and other sectors like oil if it had full control over taxation.
“This is about getting control over your own economy,” he told SLTN. “At the moment we’re given a block grant and thereafter have to deal with it.
“This [independence] gives the opportunity to control our own expenditure. Whether we get more would depend on the rate at which we charge it.”
The Scotch Whisky Association opposed Kay’s idea and said it would undermine future investment in the industry.