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Britain gives Scotland whisky tax referendum sweetener

Published on Mar 20, 2014 2:13 AM

LONDON (AFP) - British finance minister George Osborne froze tax on Scottish whisky in his annual budget Wednesday, in an apparent attempt to woo Scots ahead of an independence referendum this year.

"Scottish whisky is a huge British success story. To support that industry, instead of raising duties on Scotch whisky and other spirits, I'm today going to freeze them," Osborne told parliament.

Tax on beer dropped by one pence but duty on other alcoholic products would rise in line with inflation, Osborne added.

Scots are due to vote on September 18 on whether to end the nation's more than 300-year-old union with England.

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