SIBA responds to the Scottish Government’s Emergency Budget Review

Responding to the publication of the Scottish Government’s Emergency Budget Review and the announcement on the Scottish Deposit Return Scheme, SIBA Scotland Director Jamie Delap said:

“Scotland’s small independent brewers are currently operating on a knife edge trying to survive the combined impacts of energy bill increases and a cost of living crisis. They haven’t yet been able to build the resilience they need to recover from the impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic. 

“Small breweries are therefore rightly concerned about the impending Deposit Return Scheme coming next year which they do not have the economic resources or capacity to prepare for or deliver.

“It is therefore encouraging that the Scottish Government has today recognised some of the issues facing the scheme in the Emergency Budget Review and have indicated a willingness to amend the online takeback element which currently would prevent any small producer from selling online in Scotland next year.

“However we would urge the Scottish Government to look again at the requirements for small producers which, as currently designed, are threatening business closures and jobs in Scotland and will lead to reductions in choice and an increase in price. Many small breweries have already told us they will have to stop selling beer in cans and bottles in Scotland because of the multi million pound costs of the scheme to small producers.”

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