The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has called on the next prime minister to support small and independent brewers, one of the UK’s manufacturing success stories that has been hit hard in recent years.
Contenders: Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss
In letters sent to both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, SIBA’s chair, Roy Allkin, has asked the next PM to commit to delivering the planned changes to alcohol duty by February next year, to ensure that brewers and community pubs can get the support they need.
Last year, the Treasury set out ambitious changes to the alcohol duty system, which many independent brewers have already factored into their business plans. Final details were expected to be announced this summer, but have now been pushed back to at least the autumn, leaving brewers in limbo and putting the delivery of these changes at risk.
Roy said: “With the uncertainty the brewing industry faces, it is vital that the next prime minister delivers for the UK’s independent brewers. Many brewers have already started preparing for the alcohol duty changes, but don’t know if they will survive under the next prime minister.
“I have written to both Rish Sunak and Liz Truss asking them to commit to the reforms to alcohol duty, but also go further and enhance the draught duty rate to bring the support the hospitality sector needs to survive and thrive into the future.”
SIBA is asking the two leadership candidates to not only deliver changes on time, by 1st February 2023, but furthermore to introduce the draught duty rate as soon as practically possible. This new rate offers a duty discount on beer sold in pubs and can be a gamechanger for the sector.
SIBA has is also calling for the new PM to go further with the scheme by extending the discount to 20% and including the 20- and 30-litre containers used by small brewers and community pubs.
Roy added: “It is absolutely vital that the proposed draught duty rate applies to the 20- and 30-litre containers most often used by small brewers, or risk this preferential rate only being of use to global lager brewers.”