SIBA comments on lack of support for brewers in Chancellor’s 2021 Budget

Commenting on the Chancellor’s Budget 2021, James Calder, SIBA Chief Executive said: 
“Today, the Chancellor spent an extraordinary amount of taxpayers money to help keep the economy moving and jobs protected, pledging almost fifty-nine billion to policies including furlough extensions, continued business rates cuts, grants for hospitality of up to £9k and a series of investment initiatives.

Whilst this is helpful to the broad hospitality sector, it does nothing for the nation’s struggling independent breweries, who desperately needed direct tax cuts and targeted grant support to help them survive until the economy re-opens. What is the point in helping hospitality if there aren’t vibrant, diverse and local beers on offer when the economy re-opens?

As a result of today’s announcements more Breweries are now more than likely than ever to close, just as there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Breweries and wet led pubs will not benefit from the VAT cut extension as it does not apply to alcohol. Breweries will still be paying full business rates, VAT and duty and will not receive specific grant support – and whilst freezing beer duty is welcome, the Chancellor is still intending to increase the tax bill for at least 150 small breweries from next January with ruinous changes to small breweries’ relief, putting jobs and the recovery at risk.

The recovery loan scheme which takes forward CBILS and Bounceback loans will benefit breweries and many will take advantage, but will continue to saddle them with debt, rather than direct grant support, inhibiting growth and investment in the sector for years to come.

Restart grants of up to £18,000 per hospitality business will help businesses plan, but once again, it doesn’t look like breweries are automatically included within the definition, therefore are at the mercy of discretionary grants. Different local authorities may grant one business support, one not. One may do this in weeks, others in months.

The ‘Super Deduction’ policy announcement, giving companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery assets a 130% super-deduction capital allowance on their tax bills may be beneficial, but detail as to which taxes can be offset against is not yet published.

Whilst this Budget will likely be celebrated by the broader hospitality sector, it comes as a disappointment to the Nation’s struggling small breweries and their  supply chain, who have once again been de-prioritised by the Chancellor.”

James Calder, SIBA Chief Executive.

Related posts

SIBA launches Beerflex

Direct Delivery Scheme evolves in response to growing demand for quality independent beers The...

Robert Humphreys awarded MBE

All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group and SIBA praise his achievements Robert Humphreys, formerly the Honorary...

SIBA supports Tryanuary

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) is supporting Tryanuary, the new initiative that encourages...