SIBA outlines areas next Gov should focus on

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Focus areas: SIBA has put forward its manifesto ahead of a general election (image: Getty/8213erika)
Focus areas: SIBA has put forward its manifesto ahead of a general election (image: Getty/8213erika)

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Fairness across the market and taxation as well as environmentally sustainable policies are some of the areas one trade body is calling for ahead of the next general election.

The recently rebranded​ Society of Independent Brewers and Associates (SIBA) outlined the policies that could boost the sector over the next five years.

It is calling on the Government to adopt 11 policies across four key areas – market fairness, fair taxation, alcohol taxation reform and improving the environment.

The trade body said this would help remove the barriers for growth, ensure independent breweries remain competitive and help them make the most of the move to net zero.

As part of market fairness would be for a guest beer guarantee, which it said would help widen consumer choice and support local, small independent breweries.

Fair taxation

SIBA’s 11 key policy initiatives:

Guest beer guarantee

Transparent ownership

Lower tax burden

Beer duty freeze

Business rates reform

Alcohol duty system reform

Make duty fair

Increase draught relief to 20%

Workable deposit return schemes

Design policies with small businesses in mind

Help to go green

It also included transparent ownership, which would involve making it clear on all advertising who brews the beer and where it is made so consumers are aware of beers that are genuinely created by independent brewers in the UK.

Under fair taxation, SIBA called for a reduction in the tax burden on small breweries in order for growth, a commitment to at least a long-term freeze in the main headline beer duty rate as well as reform of the business rates system.

It estimated the brewing industry is the most taxed sector of the UK at 40% of turnover compared to online gambling at 8%.

For the alcohol taxation reform, the association wants a review of the alcohol duty system, for the Government to equalise the tax treatment of beer with city and to increase the draught duty relief to at least 20%, which it said would boost community pubs.

When it comes to the environment, SIBA called for a workable deposit return scheme, for the design of new Government green policies to have small businesses in mind and for assistance designed and available to small producers to help them make the transition to net zero.

Community hearts

SIBA chief executive Andy Slee said: “This manifesto puts improving fairness for independent brewing at its core and is full on initiatives we hope all political parties will consider as they draw up their plans for the next Government ahead of the general election.

“Independent breweries operate at the heart of our communities, supporting our local pubs and delivering innovative, fresh and tasty beer.

“However, they are constrained by a lack of access to market and a tax system that burdens small businesses.

“We believe with Government support, we could boost the sector and ensure independent brewing continues to thrive across the UK.”

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