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Small Brewers Duty changes: what is to be done?

In Uncategorized on July 23, 2020 by kmflett

Small Brewers Relief Duty: what is to be done?

If you drink beer from a smaller local brewer in your area, perhaps craft beer, you probably wont have missed the Government’s headline announcement earlier in the week about proposed changes to the Small Brewers Duty Relief. A Guardian report is here:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jul/22/fledgling-brewers-treasury-tax-overhaul-jobs-threat

The changes will increase the tax burden on many smaller brewers at the worse possible time and provide larger regional to national brewers with competitive advantage. This of course is why some of them lobbied the Government on it

I’ve covered the interesting politics of it here:

https://kmflett.wordpress.com/2020/07/22/mrs-thatcher-the-beerage-small-brewers-duty-relief-the-revenge-of-history/

The detail of how the proposals will actually work is to be determined and it appears there will be consultation in the autumn so its well worth making an effort to influence the outcome.

How is this to be done?  Here we leave beer and beer politics and enter the general world of campaigning.

One way of addressing it as an individual level is not to drink the beers of the brewers who pushed for the change. Matthew Curtis has already signalled his intention on that. Its fine but its an individual thing and campaigns work best when they are collective.

SIBA, the small brewers trade body, will clearly continue lobbying but I don’t get the impression (I may be wrong) that it has that many links with helpful MPs (of any party)

While I think there are other things than Parliament on matters like this MPs are important. James Beeson has provided an excellent template for people to write to their own MP

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EqLAbOjFYFiGzvb8sYRDRq4X4Wd7sVDLMCnMwZ_BPfE/edit

If you actually know your MP and are on speaking terms with them a personal chat is invaluable.

There are other things that can be done.

An organised boycott of one or two of the brewers who have defended the change is a possibility probably with a petition making it clear that its not their (generally pretty good) beer that is at issue but the impact of their business decisions on other, smaller brewers.

Finally you can of course contact smaller brewers in your area and see what they think the most effective way of dealing with the matter is. Local media coverage can be very helpful (where local media exists) as can social media references. They provide a sort of background noise that can persuade MPs that this is a matter that needs to be looked at again.

Usually a combination of strategies works best but whatever you do, doing nothing shouldn’t be an option.

 

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