Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, writing for What’s Brewing, wants CAMRA members to encourage brewers to complete the questionnaire sent to them asking for their views on the Small Beweries’ Relief (SBR).
There can be no doubt about the contributions of British beer makers to our communities and economy.
Nearly 2,000 breweries across the country produce over 4.5 billion litres of beer every year that is enjoyed both at home and abroad. Much of this is enjoyed in pubs across the country – in my own constituency in Newark the range of beer on offer has increased enormously in just a few years, supporting the local pubs that play such an important role in our community.
This government is fully behind our pubs and brewing industry and we want to make sure the industry continues to flourish.
One way the Treasury has done this is by freezing beer duty at the 2017 and 2018 Budgets, as well as cutting it between 2013 and 2015. These cuts and freezes have meant that a typical pint of beer has less tax on it than in 2012. I’m also proud that we are supporting cider and its place alongside beer in British pubs, with the last six Budgets having seen cider duty frozen or cut.
However, we know that we can do more to support pubs and the beer market, and that an important measure of success is the range and quality of beers that are available.
One key way we do this is through the Small Brewers Relief (SBR), a duty relief of up to 50 per cent for our smallest brewers and designed to enable innovative and passionate start-ups to pursue new beers in a marketplace where they lack the advantages of established brewers.
We continue to support the SBR, but a number of brewers have raised concerns about how it is working in the market. This is why the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, announced in the Budget our plans to review the relief to make sure it does as much as it can to help the sector.
As part of this we have launched a survey for small-medium sized brewers to get their views on SBR as it stands and what they think could be changed so it continues to be effective.
I know that CAMRA members have a strong interest in this and I would encourage you to make sure your local brewer has contributed to this review. The more information we have the better able we are to continue supporting this valuable, and much loved, sector.
Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury.
In the November Budget the Treasury announced it would conduct a review into Small Breweries’ Relief to ensure that it continues to work well and supports growth in the industry. As part of that review the Government has issued a questionnaire to all brewers in the UK which will help them understand how SBR is working, and what reform might be required.
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