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Orders of the Day — Finance Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:31 pm on 20th April 2004.

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Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 6:31 pm, 20th April 2004

Does the hon. Gentleman share my concern about the future of jobs in the whisky industry as a result of the Government's introduction of strip stamps, which will impact not just on the Scotch whisky industry but on the Irish whiskey industry and the renaissance of the Welsh whisky industry at Penderyn? The general manager of one of Speyside's premium distilleries wrote to me a few weeks ago. The letter said:

"We are considering turning our back on the UK market entirely and by 2006 securing other markets for our products, rather than suffer the new tax regime."

Reference was also made to the number of jobs that will be lost. Does the hon. Gentleman think that the introduction of tax stamps on spirits is a good idea, given that a workable alternative exists to enable the crackdown on fraud that every Member of this House wants to see?