Scotch Whisky sales in the United Kingdom have fallen by one million bottles in the first half of this year, official figures have revealed.
Figures from HMRC (HM Revenue and Customers) figures show 36.7 million bottles were released for sale in the first six months of 2017: which is down from 37.7 million in the same period previous year.
At the same time, supporting iconic British industries like Scotch whisky will be vital to the government's vision of boosting trade after Britain leaves the European Union in 2019.
The SWA said that the shrink is a direct result of chancellor Philip Hammond's decision to increase spirits duty in his spring budget by 3.9%.
The organisation said that tax now accounted for 80 per cent of the cost of a bottle of Scotch.
'Philip Hammond's damaging 3.9% spirits duty hike has hit United Kingdom demand for Scotch and seen less money going to the Treasury, ' said Karen Betts, SWA chief executive.
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"The chancellor should use his November budget to drop the dram duty and boost a great British success story".
The SWA said the rate of excise duty per litre of Scotch whisky increased by 47% between 2007 and 2017, from £19.56 to £28.74.
The trade body has also pointed out that the tax revenue generated from spirits sales in the United Kingdom has actually fallen since Philip Hammond's spring increase - meaning less money for the Treasury.
In contrast, a two per cent cut in 2015 saw spirits revenue rise by four per cent - giving a £124 million boost to the Treasury.
As of February some 14 new distilleries had opened since over four years with a further 40 new distilleries planned across Scotland, and seven were expected to open this year alone.
"In the United Kingdom, tax on a bottle of Scotch is 90p lower now than it would have otherwise been, thanks to duty freezes and cuts introduced in the last three years".
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