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MP calls for the Chancellor to protect small breweries

December 20, 2020 4:01 PM

Tim with Kirkby Lonsdale brewerySouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has joined calls for the Chancellor to reverse proposed tax changes which could threaten the future of small breweries in the South Lakes.

Tim has joined 102 other cross-party MPs in signing a joint letter to Rishi Sunak, arguing that changing Small Breweries' Relief (SBR) would devastate local brewers at a time when many businesses are already struggling to survive.

Small Breweries' Relief was introduced in 2002 to help up and coming breweries become profitable and compete with the big brewing companies.

The relief currently gives any brewer producing less than 5,000 hectolitres (hl) (880,000 pints) annually a 50% discount on beer duty.

But the Government wants to reduce that upper limit to 2,100hl, resulting in smaller breweries being slapped with a big tax hike.

Tim said: "At a time when small breweries have been crippled by the pandemic, it frankly beggars belief that the Chancellor would introduce new measures to penalise them further.

"Small breweries are absolutely vital to our local economy here in the South Lakes.

"I'm proud to stand alongside 100 other MPs from across the political divide, to tell the Chancellor that now is not the time to turn his back on small breweries."