The makers of SCOTCH whiskey have called on aspiring Tory leaders to reverse a near double-digit tax hike this fall.

Half of distillers have seen their energy costs double in the past year.

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The Scotch Whiskey Association wants Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to overturn a proposed double-digit drink tax hike in the fallCredit: Getty

Meanwhile, 72% expect shipping costs to double in the next 12 months.

Calls from Britain’s number one food and drink export come in as Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak head to Scotland today.

Seventy per cent of the cost of a bottle of Scotch is currently being claimed in tax, with UK spirits duties the highest in the G7.

Unless the next Chancellor explicitly rules out “planned increases” to the service, there will be an automatic increase of around 9%.

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Mark Kent, Managing Director of the Scotch Whiskey Association, said: “The industry provides much needed growth to the UK economy through investment, job creation and increased Treasury revenue.

“But this survey finds distillers are investing in growth despite economic headwinds and rising costs to business.”

The budding PMs will face off tonight in Perth in the seventh of 12 hustings.

The question of the protection of the Union and the fight against the nationalists will be on the agenda.

In a bid to woo Scottish Tories, Ms Truss pledged to cut crippling 150% tariffs on Scotch whiskey in India and vowed never to ‘let anyone talk about Scotland’s potential’.

The Foreign Secretary would grant new powers to grant the Scottish Parliament parliamentary privilege to properly scrutinize the SNP after years in office.

Mr Sunak has pledged to force the Scottish government to explain how it spends UK taxpayers’ money.

The ex-Chancellor would train Scotland’s top civil servants in London to attend hearings of the UK Parliament’s select committee – and force his own team of UK ministers to make more trips north of the border.

Under Mr Sunak’s plans, the Scottish government would also be forced to explain how it spends UK taxpayers’ money and provide evidence that it benefits schools and the NHS – rather than relying on its own selective data.