Small Breweries Relief

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:30 pm on 9th November 2020.

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Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Exchequer Secretary 9:30 pm, 9th November 2020

I disagree. It does affect the cliff edge: a taper smooths it out and stops the point at which growth is actively discouraged.

Two main charges are levied at small brewers relief by its critics: that it unfairly distorts competition and that it fails to match the true nature of industry production costs. It is argued that that penalises the best producers, inhibits growth and disrupts normal business activity. I should point out that those criticisms were made not by the multinationals that dominate the global market, but by local and mid-sized regional brewers. As hon. Members might imagine, no two brewers will agree on absolutely everything, but a lack of consensus should not be a barrier to action where it is required.

The Treasury therefore announced in 2018 that it would review the relief to consider the views of the whole market on the topic. Since then, we have considered a range of evidence, from direct submissions from individual breweries to independent academic research. We will publish more information about the evidence that we have received as part of our upcoming consultation on small brewers relief later this year.