Petition against plan to hike taxes for small breweries signed by 8,600

A petition calling on the Government to reverse the proposed tax rise for small independent breweries received more than 8,600 signatures in its first 24 hours.

The Treasury has announced changes to Small Breweries’ Relief, the progressive tax system that revolutionised UK brewing, which will reduce the 50 per cent duty relief threshold from 5,000 hectoliters to 2,100hl meaning small breweries will face paying more duty.

Austen Morgan. director of Backyard Brewhouse in Brownhills, said: “Small breweries such as ours will have to pay more duty while large breweries could pay the same or less, putting us at a huge disadvantage in an already highly competitive and aggressive market place.”

He said it was a disincentive to smaller breweries looking to grow and urged people to sign the petition.

Backyard, which has been going for 12 years, currently produces 3,000 to 3,500hl annually.

“If the change went ahead it would reduce our profitability quite dramatically,” he added.

Jack Hobday, one of the founders of Anspach and Hobday Brewery in Bermondsey, is the man behind the petition which is being backed by the Society of Independent Brewers.

“This is a big threat to small breweries across the country. Our small brewers have created better competition, consumer choice, jobs, local investment and strengthened local communities. Please support us in reversing the proposed tax rises that could put hundreds of small breweries out of business,” he said.

SIBA, which represents about 750 independent craft breweries across the UK, has given the petition its full backing as part of its call on the Government to back British beer by halting the tax rises.

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