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 have today (31st January) issued a questionnaire to all brewers in the UK which will help them understand how SBR is working, and what reform might be required.
Brewers should receive an invitation to complete this questionnaire from HM Treasury either today or tomorrow with thier Jan/Feb beer returns.
This questionnaire will help Treasury gather critical evidence which will inform if, and what reform might be needed.
James Calder, Head of Public Affairs at SIBA said: “SBR is a great success story. HM treasury want to hear from brewers on how well SBR is working and how it could be improved. All options are on the table. Treasury will act on the evidence they receive during this review and from this questionnaire. It could mean positive reform which protects small brewers and incentivises growth, or if brewers fail to act, it could not.
It’s vitally important that as many small brewers as possible have thier say in this questionnaire.”
SIBA’s position is clear:
- No brewer should lose any duty relief as a result of this review.
- SIBA will continue to defend SBR at the maximum legally permitted level of 50% duty relief for all brewers below 5,000hl. There is no political, economic or rational case for removing any relief from any small brewer.
- SIBA wants to see positive reform of the curve above 5,000hl, making it easier to grow a business by removing the ‘cliff edge’ as relief is rapidly withdrawn.
- Small Breweries’ Relief at current levels is essential to the future – 83% of SIBA members say it is ‘extremely important’ to their business, 5% ‘very important’ and a further 8% consider it ‘important’.
- All brewers are urged to give Treasury this evidence, bearing in mind that some are very keen to secure reform which would harm smaller businesses.
For more information about SIBA’s SBR policy, click here.