Ben Lake MP calls on UK Government to protect small breweries from regressive tax hike


Ben Lake MP has warned that a proposed tax hike for small breweries could threaten breweries and jobs at an already challenging time due to the pandemic. Despite freezes in the last two budgets, the UK has one of the highest Beer Duty (tax) rates in Europe, and is three times the EU average.  

Under the contentious plans, dozens of small breweries across Wales face the burden of paying more tax because of a decision by the UK Treasury to cut Small Breweries’ Relief. Around 90 small breweries in Wales could be adversely impacted by the changes.   

The Small Breweries’ Relief was introduced in 2002 to help up-and-coming breweries compete with big market players. The relief currently gives any brewer producing less than 5,000 hl (880,000 pints) an annual 50% discount on beer duty.  

On Monday, 9 November, Ben Lake MP will take part in a debate on the issue led by his colleague, Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru Member of Parliament for Dwyfor Meirionnydd. 

Ahead of the debate, Ben Lake MP said: 

“The Covid-19 crisis represents an unprecedented threat to our small independent breweries, the craft beer industry and the local jobs they support, and the long-term impacts are as yet unknown. It will be a huge challenge for the sector to recover, and the UK Government needs to act now to protect this hugely important industry. 

"Any punitive tax regime is clearly going to have serious consequences for small independent brewers in Ceredigion, especially during a pandemic when brewers’ major customers – pubs – have been closed or are working at reduced capacity. 

“I am calling on the UK Treasury to reconsider plans to cut the Small Breweries’ Relief in order to ensure stability to our small breweries.”  

Say you're with us

Elin Jones and Ben Lake work for everyone who lives in Ceredigion. Show your support and help them in their work to ensure a better Ceredigion, today.