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Whisky tax reduction hopes raised

A second UK Government minister has hinted that tax on whisky could be cut in the next Budget.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said that there was a "sympathetic ear" to the call in the Treasury.

Campaigners want ministers to scrap the so-called "escalator" on whisky, which automatically increases duty by 2% above inflation.

It follows the abolition of similar price hike on beer.

The Scotch Whisky Association estimates excise duty and VAT make up 79% of the price of a bottle of Scotch.

Mr Carmichael said: "You will see what happens with whisky duty come the Budget."

Last week, Nicky Morgan, economic secretary to the Treasury, said she would give the call "very serious consideration".

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