UK’s small distillers have joined forces to urge George Osborne to reduce duty on alcohol, which would lead to an additional £1.5bn investments across the industry.

The nation’s distillers have backed the Drop the Duty! campaign, which has urged for a 2% cut in alcohol duty at the next UK Budget in March 2015.

The campaign is being run by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) and supported by the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Craft Distillers’ Alliance director Dom Roskrow said: “The UK spirits industry has grown rapidly over the last 18 months largely due to the successes of craft distillers. Up and down the country there are small distilleries creating jobs, boosting tourism and raising tax revenue in towns and cities.

“The government should be doing all it can to develop and encourage growth in this industry rather than focusing on punitive tax measures.”

Currently, consumers across the country pay close to 80% tax on an average priced bottle of spirits and almost 60% on an average priced bottle of wine.

British public is against this tax, with 84% saying that this level of tax on Scotch Whisky and other spirits is unfair, the associations aver.

SWA CEO David Frost added: “Small distillers and British consumers are being unfairly penalised. Not only is the spirits tax rate the fourth highest in the European Union, it is double the rate applied in France and two and a half times higher than in Germany.

“We are calling on the Chancellor to build on last year’s duty freeze to support an important, home-grown industry.”