CAMRA's Chairman has reacted to the Government’s latest announcement on changes to the Small Brewers’ Relief Scheme.
Nik Antona said, “Small brewers across the UK have been waiting months for today’s announcement, and now have some more certainty over how their tax bills will change in the coming years.
“With the bold changes to all alcohol duties proposed in the Budget, there is still more detail that needs to be worked on.
'We are looking forward to working with the Treasury to ensure that the wider proposals work for small brewers, and especially that the new draught beer duty rate applies to containers of 20L and over – allowing for the smaller formats that small and independent brewers most frequently supply draught beer in.
Antona continued, “From the announcement today, we are glad that the Treasury has made a concession on the 50% relief threshold, following representations from small brewers and consumers who were worried about viability of small brewers and knock-on effects on consumer choice under the previous proposals.
“We understand that the changes announced today will protect around 70 of the smallest brewers from increased tax bills. Sadly, this will still mean increased bills for those producing between 2,500HL and 5,000HL per year, but the additional changes to smooth the ‘cliff edge’ in the relief taper should help small brewers grow more sustainably in future.'
Antona concluded, “CAMRA will continue to campaign across a range of issues affecting small and independent brewers, as they are vital to maintaining consumer choice in the UK beer market, which is increasingly dominated by the interests of a small number of global brewing companies.”