SIBA calls for third cut in beer duty

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Beer duty Investment Beer

Mike Benner said the outcomes of the beer duty cuts have been 'even greater than expected'
Mike Benner said the outcomes of the beer duty cuts have been 'even greater than expected'
A third cut in beer duty would provide a further boost to growth, employment and investment in British brewing, while increasing tax revenue to the Treasury, the Society of Independent Brewers Association (SIBA) has claimed in its Budget submission.

It also called for the Government to commit to retain Small Breweries’ Relief to at least its current levels and support changes to the EU Excise Directives to enable member states to: introduce progressive cider duty;  set preferential duty rates for draught beer sold in the on-trade; increase the 2.8% limit for low-strength beers and increase the upper threshold of progressive beer duty over 200,000hl.

Its submission highlighted the positive outcomes of the beer duty reductions in 2013 and 2014 and the end of the beer duty escalator, claiming that these helped contribute to the pub closure rate slowing down to 29 per week (compared to 52 in 2009) and created 16,000 new jobs in the beer and pubs sector, with its members alone creating up to 1,600 jobs in 2013-14.

It added that beer sales are in growth for the first time in over a decade, the price of a pint saw the smallest increase since records began, consumes have a greater choice of beers than ever before, and there are now around 1,500 breweries. It said 172 breweries joined SIBA since 2013.

It also highlighted that an extra £44m has been invested across the beer and pubs sector with 70% of SIBA members reporting significant capital investment in 2014 and Government revenues from beer duty were up by 1.5% in the year ending June 2014.

'Greater than expected'

SIBA managing director Mike Benner said: “Britain’s independent brewers reacted to the two consecutive beer duty cuts by investing for growth and creating jobs, which must surely be the response the Chancellor was hoping for, but the outcomes have been even greater than expected, particularly with lower prices at the bar and an increase in Government revenues.

“In this pre-Election Budget, generating jobs, particularly among young people, and reducing the deficit, are high on the Chancellor’s agenda. With a third beer duty cut, he would help achieve both goals, while also supporting a great British manufacturing industry which is in growth, and keeping a pint of beer affordable for millions of pubgoers.

“Backing Britain’s independent brewers at this exciting time for British beer makes sense.”

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