SIBA sends Chancellor a ‘Message in a Barrel’
SIBA chairman Keith Bott yesterday posted a ‘message in a barrel’ to the Chancellor on behalf of the association’s 652 members, requesting an end to the unpopular beer duty escalator.
The barrel was sited for the day at the House of Commons, enabling MPs to post their own message to the Treasury ahead of Budget. 60 MPs showed their support for British beer and pubs in this way, the vast majority of whom have a SIBA member’s brewery in their constituency.
Posting the SIBA message, Bott said, “The 652 Brewing members of SIBA are crying out for a fair duty system.
“Beer tax will have risen by 50% in the last five years, assuming the duty escalator stays in place after next month’s Budget. This is hugely damaging to pubs and the local economies they support, which include the independent brewers who supply them with quality craft beers.
“SIBA has just published its Local Beer Report, which once again shows our sector to be in better health than the rest of the industry: local beer sales are up, employment has grown and most brewers are investing for future expansion.
“The local beer success story is largely a result of Small Breweries’ Relief. Given the clear connection between investment and a thriving industry, we remain baffled by the government’s stance on beer duty, which amounts to a disinvestment in the same industry that they are supporting with SBR.”
Bott’s message to the Chancellor ended with a plea to “make this Budget one that can be applauded by the beer and pub industry and widely welcomed by Britain’s pubgoers.”
After MPs and others had posted their messages, Bott, together with industry and MPs, delivered the barrel to the Treasury.
The ‘message in a barrel’ is the latest demonstration of SIBA’s support for the beer duty campaign. Alongside its industry partners, SIBA has worked hard since the last Budget to raise awareness of beer tax, galvanising its members to gather signatures for the ‘Save Your Pint’ petition and to lobby their MPs ahead of the parliamentary debate and at the subsequent Mass Lobby day.