SIBA calls on the Chancellor to keep up the winning formula on beer tax
Third cut would secure growth, investment and jobs by backing Britain’s independent brewers
A third cut in beer duty in next month’s Budget would be a further boost to growth, employment and investment in British brewing, while increasing tax revenue to the Treasury, claims the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) in its submission to the Treasury, which calls for more support for Britain’s 1,500 breweries.
SIBA is calling on the Chancellor to deliver a third cut in beer duty, which is needed to build on the momentum of the historic duty reductions of 2013 and 2014 and the end of the devastating beer duty escalator.
SIBA’s submission highlights the winners from the positive action on beer tax in 2013 and 2014:
- • NEW JOBS: 16,000 new jobs in the beer and pubs sector. Survey responses suggest that SIBA members created up to 1,600 jobs in 2013-14
- • BEER SALES UP: Beer sales are in growth for the first time in over a decade
- • MORE CHOICE FOR CONSUMERS: Consumers have a greater choice of beers than ever before – an estimated 8,000 regular beers in production with as many as 18,800 including one-offs and seasonal beers
- • MORE BREWERIES: Around 1,500 breweries – more than ever before and a brewery in most constituencies. 172 breweries have joined SIBA since 2013
- • INCREASED INVESTMENT: An extra £44m across the beer and pubs sector with 70% of SIBA members reporting significant capital investment in 2014
- • FEWER PUB CLOSURES: Slowing rate of pub closures; down from a high of 52 per week in 2009 to 29 per week
- • GOVERNMENT REVENUES UP: Government revenues from beer duty up by1.5% in the year ending June 2014
- • LOWER PRICES AT THE BAR – The smallest increase in the price of a pint since records began
SIBA members are celebrating the news that, following the successive duty cuts, UK beer sales are in growth for the first time in over a decade and the price of a pint has increased by the smallest amount, relative to inflation, since records began in 1990. This has in turn helped to slow the rate of pub closures, while at the same time, beer duty receipts to the Exchequer were up by 1.5% in the year ending June 2014.
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.”
SIBA’s submission also calls for further measures to support Britain’s independent brewers, including a commitment to retain Small Breweries’ Relief to at least its current levels. It also asks for UK government support for 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; increase the upper threshold of progressive beer duty over 200,000hl.