Energy bills and tax reform

Cut in help for energy bills could spell end for nation’s locals

Commenting on the impending reduction in the Government’s help for businesses with their energy bills from 1st April, CAMRA Chairman Nik Antona said: 

“Sadly for publicans, this isn’t a bad April Fool’s joke from the Government. With our pubs and breweries continuing to face rocketing costs and customers tightening their belts, the last thing licensees need is vital support with sky-high energy bills to be pulled out from under them. 

“This change puts the future of many of the nation’s beloved pubs, social clubs and breweries under threat of having to close their doors for good – with communities losing vital parts of their social fabric as a result. 

“CAMRA is urging the Government to think again, reinstate more help for the licensed trade with their energy bills – as well as making business rates fairer and cutting VAT so that pubs can survive and thrive in the months and years ahead.” 

Tax reforms brilliant news for small brewers and cider makers, but changes needed to avoid a stealth ban on takeaway pints

Nik Antona, CAMRA National Chairman, has responded to the publication of details on reforms to the Alcohol Duty System, coming into force on 1 August 2023.

On the new draught duty rate for beer and cider:

“CAMRA has campaigned for many years to secure a draught duty rate, and we are pleased that this has come to fruition. We particularly welcome the confirmation that traditional gravity dispense will be captured within the new, lower, duty rate.

“With the Chancellor extending the differential between the general and draught duty rates to 9.2% in the Budget, we look forward to campaigning to further increase that differential to the benefit of pubs, social clubs, and consumers.”

On the new Small Producer Relief Scheme:

“Small brewers and cider makers will be pleased to see the details of the new Small Producer Relief Scheme, so that they can start planning for the future.

“With stubbornly high inflation and the impending cliff-edge drop-off in energy bill support, small producers need more help than ever to compete with the purchasing power and economies of scale enjoyed by the global producers that dominate the UK beer and cider market.

“Small cider makers will also benefit from a progressive duty system for the first time ever, supporting them to grow and increase choice of artisanal ciders for consumers.”

On the announcement that decanting from draught-duty paid containers for consumption off the premises will be prohibited:

“Despite our formal representations and extensive engagement with the Treasury, a workable solution to allow pubs and social clubs to make incidental takeaway draught sales has not been found. It’s good that specialist bottle shops will be able to buy casks and kegs with the general duty rate paid on them to make takeaway sales, but most publicans – who the draught duty rate is designed to benefit – won’t be able to afford or accommodate extra draught containers just to make takeaway sales.

“This, if implemented, will equate to a stealth ban on takeaway pints and is extremely disappointing for licensees and consumers, and especially designated drivers that like to take away a pint or two to enjoy responsibly at home. We will continue to campaign for a workable solution.”

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