SNP MPs speechless as Tories goad them with Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s freeze on whisky duty

Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered the first annual budget statement of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new government on Wednesday. In his first budget since he replaced Sajid Javid as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Sunak announced he will cancel planned increases in spirits duty to promote Scottish food and drinks overseas. He said: “I’m announcing today, £1 million of support to promote Scottish food and drinks overseas and £10 million of the new RND funding to help distilleries go green.

“And to further support the industry, I can also announce that this year the planned increase in spirits duty will be cancelled.”

As the Chancellor made the astonishing announcement, Tory frontbenchers and Prime Minister Boris Johnson invited SNP MPs across the aisle to celebrate the move. 

But according to reporters in the Chamber, SNP MPs refused to welcome the announcement. 

Christopher Hope of The Daily Telegraph tweeted: “No sip of Scotch at the dispatch box for the Chancellor as Rishi Sunak says whisky duty will not go up this year. Tory MPs goad SNP MPs to welcome it. They don’t.”

The Chancellor also announced the Government’s economic plan to tackle any future economic struggles caused by the outbreak of coronavirus.

As he began his speech, Mr Sunak said: “I want to get straight to the issue most on everyone’s mind- coronavirus COVID19. I know how worried people are.

“Worried about their health, the health of their loved ones, their jobs, their income, their businesses, their financial security.

“And I know they get even more worried when they turn on their TVs and hear talk of markets collapsing and recessions coming. People want to know what’s happening, and what can be done to fix it.

“I want to set out our economic response so we bring stability and security. Let me say this: We will get through this – together.”

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