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 am afraid that the hon. Gentleman is still incorrect. I will come to the percentage of brewers that are actually affected in a moment, but nothing could be further from the truth than to say this is being done to help large brewers. It is not.

Thirdly, there is the criticism that the change will lead to the collapse of the small brewing sector. Simple arithmetic shows that critique does not stack up. In 2019, about 80% of brewers produced less than 2,100 hectolitres, so 80% of brewers are not affected. Meanwhile, less than 8% of brewers produce between 2,100 and 5,000 hecto- litres—the 1,000 pints a day point going forward. Modest tax changes affecting a narrow slice of brewers will not spell the end of craft beer.

Hon. Members have made the point about taxing small brewers in the middle of a pandemic. We realise that, but this long-standing issue in the industry well predates covid-19. As I said, the first review was announced in 2018, and brewers were engaged on the topic well before that. The debate has to be settled. We have been clear that reforms will not come into effect until 2022 at the earliest, to give brewers time to adapt.