Nik Antona, CAMRA national chairman, has urged the Government to change plans to increase the amount of tax that small brewers across the UK will have to pay. In a letter to Kemi Badenoch MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, the Campaign’s Chairman and Chief Executive have laid out their concerns over the move to reduce the level of production at which small brewers receive the full level of tax relief – in order to allow larger brewers to pay less.
“Small Brewers’ Relief has been instrumental in creating the brewing boom that we have seen over the past two decades and is vital to maintaining a thriving and diverse beer market, and choice for consumers,” says Nik.
“The news of these poorly considered reforms to the Small Brewers’ Relief Scheme could not come at a worse time for our small brewers, who are already facing financial uncertainty due to the coronavirus crisis.
“That’s why CAMRA is joining calls for the Government to rethink its plans to remove tax relief from the smallest brewers to allow larger brewers to pay less, and to publish more information about any other proposed changes to the scheme as soon as possible.
“We have always been concerned about the proposal of removing relief from the smallest brewers, and maintained that this should not happen without broad industry consensus. It is clear from the reaction to the proposal to reduce the level at which a brewery receives full relief from 5,000HL to 2,100HL that consensus has not been achieved.
“We believe that the ‘cliff-edge’ of the relief curve should be smoothed by increasing the range of production covered through an increase to the top threshold, rather than the removal of full duty relief at the bottom end of the production scale. We urge you to rethink the Government’s preferred approach to ensure that no small brewer is worse of as a result of reform to Small Brewers’ Relief, and we hope that further details will be published soon.”