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Local MP and Distillery Welcome Alcohol Duty Waiver for Hand Sanitiser

Published:

Categories: Coronavirus (COVID-19), Food and Drink, Local Business, News

Stirling MP Alyn Smith and Callander based distillery, McQueen’s Gin, have welcomed the decision by HMRC to waive Duty on alcohol produced for hand sanitiser, in response to the Coronavirus crisis.

Many distilleries, across the country, have been contacted by organisations such as care homes and NHS services as demand for alcohol-based hand sanitiser increases. Scottish Government Finance Secretary Kate Forbes called on the Chancellor this week to relax the rules to allow whisky and gin distilleries in Scotland to do their bit to help produce ethanol for hand sanitiser, with regular duty waived.

The UK Government has since set out the new regulations on their website:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/producing-hand-sanitiser-and-gel-for-coronavirus-covid-19

Commenting, Alyn Smith said:

“There are many businesses and organisations across the country that are ready to step up to the mark to do their bit in helping our communities combat the spread of the Coronavirus. I’ve spoken to distilleries in the Stirling area, and know that this is the case for them too.

“My SNP colleagues and I, along with the Scottish Government’s Finance Secretary, have called for alcohol duty to be waived for this purpose. It is welcome, therefore, that HM Revenue & Customs have now implemented changes to the rules regarding this, setting out how distilleries, like those in the Stirling area, can use the product they make to help people combat the spread of the Coronavirus.”

McQueen’s Gin owner, Dale McQueen added:

“We’ve been contacted by a number of groups, including care homes and other community groups, asking if we can produce alcohol for hand sanitisers – which is something we’ve been very keen to do to help address the shortage and demand.

“The change in duty tax rules will help us to do that, so I’m grateful to those who have campaigned for this, and we are looking into how we can do our bit in the fightback against this virus.”