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 very happy to offer a meeting to a number of Members across the House. This should not be a contentious issue. We may have been written to by certain constituents, but we represent many more people than those who have complained about this issue. If we do offer a meeting, I hope Members will talk to all the breweries, not just the ones who have complained, to get a holistic view of what is going on in their constituencies.

Jim Shannon talked about pub business rates. We have offered lots of business rate relief. We know that breweries have not been included, but that is partly because they have been able to open. It is an issue that we continue to review.

What are the next steps? The Treasury is moving forward with a further consultation this autumn to examine the more detailed aspects of reform. I invite all hon. Members to encourage any breweries in their constituencies to engage with the process. This is necessary because taper reform is very complicated. It seems like there are as many suggestions for new tapers as there are brewers in the country. That is what we need to focus on. It would not be prudent for the Government to simply pluck one of these solutions out of the air without giving brewers an opportunity to comment on its implications. I should stress that the Treasury has not made any final decisions about the overall shape of reform.