MP Seeks Duty Waiver to Help Distilleries Produce Hand Sanitiser

Companies are ready to tackle the shortage facing care homes and charities.

An SNP MP has called for the Chancellor to introduce a tax and excise duty waiver so small distilleries can more easily produce hand sanitiser for the NHS, care homes, homeless charities and other bodies during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Glasgow North MP Patrick Grady (Pictured) has made the call after being contacted by The Glasgow Distillery Company, who want to produce hand sanitiser but face the challenge of paying duty on the product even if it’s not being sold – because of the Ethanol / Grain Neutral Spirit (pure alcohol) needed – costing around £20 per litre of hand sanitiser produced.

The change is backed by Scottish Government Finance Secretary Kate Forbes MSP who has written to Rishi Sunak calling for greater flexibility on alcohol tax and regulations for alcoholic drink manufacturers that are now looking to produce hand sanitiser in response to Covid-19.

Commenting, Patrick Grady MP said:

“We know many local companies like Glasgow Distillery are looking to do their bit to tackle Coronavirus and support their communities by producing hand sanitiser.

“HMRC should be helping them by waiving the duty, which can otherwise make it prohibitive.

“There is a real shortage of hand sanitiser in the quantities needed for our care homes, homeless charities, and other bodies.

“Small distilleries can help out with this emergency, if the UK government is willing to lift the red tape.”

Liam Hughes, Co-Founder and CEO of The Glasgow Distillery Company, added:

“Glasgow Distillery and many other distilleries across Scotland are ready and willing to help meet the demand for sanitiser.

“We’ve been inundated by calls from care homes and other front-line organisations including the NHS and Councils, but HMRC’s red tape means we have to pay duty of up to £20 per litre produced – so we literally can’t give it away.

“A stroke of a pen and some common sense at HRMC is all that’s needed to get more of our distilleries helping towards the effort to tackle coronavirus.”