The UK government has cancelled its plans to increase duty on spirits in the 2020 budget, providing additional support to the industry through a green energy fund.

Under the green energy fund, the government will be offering a total amount of £10m to help distilleries go green.

The announcement was made by the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak while presenting the 2020 budget.

In addition, Sunak announced duty freeze on wine and beer, as well as cider in the UK.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association said that the decision taken by the chancellor would result in a saving of around £184m for wine and spirit businesses in duty payments.

In addition, the government agreed to increase the previously promised £1,000 relief for pubs with a rateable value (RV) under £100,000 to £5,000.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) welcomed the government’s decision to continue the freeze on spirits duties, as well as additional support for the industry through a green energy fund.

SWA chief executive Karen Betts said: “We welcome the fact that excise duty on spirits has been frozen for nearly three years and the Chancellor’s announcement today that excise duty will not rise further.

“The fact remains that duty on spirits in the UK is already very high and puts Scotch Whisky at a competitive disadvantage to wine, beer and cider, with £3 in every £4 spent on an average-price bottle of Scotch Whisky going to the government in tax.

“We are pleased that the Chancellor underlined the UK government’s commitment to resolving these damaging tariffs quickly, while also announcing measures to support Scotch Whisky in a challenging period – including through a green energy fund to support our industry’s leading work to decarbonise the energy we use and achieve net-zero and new funds for export promotion.”