CAMRA Asks The Government To Rethink Tax Changes For Small Brewers

The consumer group has written to the Treasury, joining calls for the Government to rethink their plans for Small Brewers’ Relief

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has urged the Government to change their 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 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.

Last month government has lowered the threshold for breweries to stop receiving some tax breaks on the beer they produce.

Small Breweries’ Relief was introduced in 2002, and was meant to help newer breweries become profitable and compete with larger producers. The relief gives any brewer producing less than 5,000 hectolitres (about 880,000 pints) annually a 50% discount on beer duty. Once a brewer starts making more than 5,000hl, the relief rate is lowered on a sliding scale.

Nik Antona, CAMRA National Chairman, said:

“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.

“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.”