Sir, The Scotch Whisky Association welcomes the Chancellor's decision to freeze the excise duty on alcohol and to press ahead with a review of the system this autumn.

The current alcohol duty regime discriminates against Scotch whisky, a major UK manufacturer and exporter. Scotch whisky already carries 37% more duty than the same amount of alcohol served as beer, 19% more duty than wine and 224% more duty than cider. The VAT rise in January 2011 will increase the discrimination faced.

We encourage the government to tax all drinks at the same rate according to alcohol content, coupled with a ban on below-tax sales. This would help the government address concerns over alcohol pricing, secure greater social responsibility and offer increased revenue.

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive, Scotch Whisky Association