Brewing society sets out pre-election manifesto centred on tax reform and market fairness

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Andy Slee discusses the new manifesto at an event in Parliament. Credit: SIBA
Andy Slee discusses the new manifesto at an event in Parliament. Credit: SIBA

Related tags Beverages

The Society of Independent Brewers and Associates (SIBA) has laid out its manifesto ahead of the general election scheduled to take place in the UK later this year.

At an event held in Parliament, SIBA outlined 11 key policy initiatives that could it believes will boost the sector over the next five years.

These initiatives are spread across the four key areas of market fairness, fair taxation, reforming alcohol taxation and improving the environment.

SIBA claims that each policy initiative has been developed in order to remove barriers to growth, ensure that independent breweries remain competitive and enable the category to make the most of the transition towards Net Zero.

Speaking in Parliament about the new policy platform, SIBA chief executive Andy Slee: “This manifesto puts improving fairness for independent brewing at its core and is full of initiatives that we hope that all political parties will consider as they draw up their plans for the next government ahead of the General Election.

“Independent breweries operate at the heart of our communities, supporting our local pubs and delivering innovative, fresh and tasty beer. However they are constrained by a lack of access to market and a tax system that burdens small businesses. We believe that with government support we could boost the sector and ensure that independent brewing continues to thrive across the UK.”

The 11 key policy initiatives were organised as follows.

Market fairness

  • Guest beer guarantee: Guarantee a guest beer in pubs to widen consumer choice and support local brewers.
  • Transparent ownership: Make it clear on all advertising who brews the beer and where so that consumers know which beers are genuinely made by independent brewers in the UK.

Fair taxation regime

Lower tax burden: Reduce the tax burden on small breweries to help them to grow.

Freeze beer duty: Commit to at least a long term freeze of the main headline beer duty rate.

Business rate reform: Real reform of Business Rates including a review of the differential paid between global and small breweries.

Reform alcohol taxation

Review alcohol duty system: Keep the promise to fully review the new alcohol duty system within three years to ensure the reforms work for all small producers.

Make duty fair: Equalise the tax treatment of beer with cider so that Global cider producers pay their fair share of alcohol duty.

Make it 20%: Increase the draught duty relief to at least 20% to boost our community pubs.

Improving our environment

Workable DRS: A fully interoperable Deposit Return Scheme with the same scope and criteria across the UK which works for small breweries.

Design policies with small businesses in mind: A commitment that the design of new Government green policies takes into account small businesses.

Help to go green: Provide assistance designed and available for small producers to help them make the transition to Net Zero.

In other news, BAKO Group has announced the full acquisition of bakery firm Finlay’s Foods for an undisclosed fee.

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