BrewDog’s James Watt calls for corporation tax change

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Economy boost: BrewDog co-founder James Watt has said a change in corporation tax would benefit businesses and the UK overall
Economy boost: BrewDog co-founder James Watt has said a change in corporation tax would benefit businesses and the UK overall
BrewDog co-founder James Watt has outlined how a 'small change' to the corporation tax system could help boost medium-sized businesses and the UK economy.

This system would mean businesses, including pubs, with a turnover of more than £10m or employing more than 50 people that increase their turnover or headcount by 30% or more in a financial year would not have to pay corporation tax for that financial year.

A caveat is that the business reinvest the tax rebate fully into further growth in the next year, and commit to a two-year dividend embargo.

Watt posted on the brewer’s blog: “With Brexit looming large on the horizon, the UK is going to have to find new ways to remain competitive and ensure its businesses continue to drive its economy in an increasingly tough global environment.

“We need to ensure this island nation that we call home does not crumble and fold, but instead builds a better future for all members of our society.

“At BrewDog, we help to fly the flag for the UK internationally and we export our world-class craft beers to more than 60 countries around the planet.

“We now employ more than 2,000 people and have created over 600 new jobs in 2018 alone. Having been at the helm of a rapidly expanding British business for the past decade, we have been considering how the Government can ensure we continue to attract great new businesses to invest and create jobs in the UK and how our existing business can continue to grow as this growth benefits everyone on our country.”

Social policy

Watt proposed the introduction of a new corporation tax system to aid growth which would, in turn, increase jobs.

He added: “We strongly believe the best social policy ever created is a well-paying job and I further believe our very, very best companies are better placed than the Government to create jobs and drive the future growth of our economy.

“We can change how corporation tax works in the UK to better incentivise economic growth, to lead to significantly more job creation and to increase the overall amount of tax the Government receives each year, as well as stimulate more spending in our economy to boot.

“We would propose a new corporation tax system whereby any medium-sized UK business (for these purposes medium is defined as having turnover in excess of £10m or employing more than 50 people) that either increases its turnover or headcount by 30% or more in a financial year, does not pay any corporation tax for that financial year, provided it undertakes to reinvest that tax rebate fully in further growth in the following 12 months and commits to a 24-month dividend embargo.”

The BrewDog co-founder highlighted exactly how this would benefit not only the businesses but the economy as a whole.

Further growth

Watt said: “For us, this not only incentivises businesses to grow and creates jobs but also ensures the incentive they receive is further reinvested to create more jobs and drive further growth.

“This would enable us to attract fantastic companies to locate in the UK, giving us an edge internationally as well as creating jobs.

“In addition, we would motivate the thousands of fantastic companies already in the UK to look to grow their businesses in what are uncertain economic times.

“Furthermore, through more income tax, national insurance, VAT, duties and increased spending, the Government would also be in a net positive tax position with this change to corporation tax, meaning everyone would benefit.”

Finally, Watt outlined his experience with BrewDog and how this change to corporation tax could mean a better country overall.

“From our perspective, a company with a great track record for growth and job creation can use resources more effectively and efficiently than Government to bolster our economy.

“With a very simple change to corporation tax, we can create a better future and a more prosperous UK for everyone.”

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