To weaken support for small brewers, pushing them out of the market, would be a betrayal of the industry and consumers. Grahame Morris MP
Grahame Morris MP

A brief contribution about the resurgence of British Brewing.

I am fortunate to have the exceptional Castle Eden Brewery in my constituency, under the excellent leadership of Cliff Walker and David Travis.

I support campaigns to reform business rates and freeze beer duty, but today I would like to highlight the importance of Small Brewers Relief.

Since Labour introduced the Small Brewers Relief in 2002, we have witnessed a resurgence in British Independent Craft Brewing; with a fivefold increase in small brewers from 400 in 2002 to over 2,000 today.

The 50% relief up to 5,000 hectolitres has given small breweries the opportunity to compete against their multi-national counterparts who benefit from economies of scale; brand recognition and dominate the market.

While Small Brewers Relief supports new entrants to bring their products to a vibrant and diverse market, increasing consumer choice, we must do more to break the stranglehold of the major global brewers, who control 88% of the market.

The current system has worked well, however, there is a case for reform.

The withdrawal of rate relief above 5000 hectolitres is punitive and a barrier to growth.

To unlock growth and employment, lifting the relief to 10,000 hectolitres, would give small brewers the space and freedom to expand; instead of limiting production to stay within the current relief threshold.

I want more support for small brewers, but to simply stay still, the Minister could deliver some much-needed business confidence by confirming that the current level of relief will be at the very least maintained.

To remove relief for brewers below 5,000 hectolitres would damage UK brewing after nearly two decades of gains and growth.

To weaken support for small brewers, pushing them out of the market, would be a betrayal of the industry and consumers.

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Grahame pledges support for local pubs

Grahame Morris MP has pledged his support for the Long Live the Local Campaign to help pubs in Easington keep their doors open. Grahame Morris joins the more than 240,000 people who have signed the petition so far, including 371 in Easington alone.

Grahame Morris MP is calling on the Government to cut beer tax at the Budget. With £1 in every £3 pounds spent in UK pubs going to the taxman, British drinkers now pay 40% of all beer tax across the EU, but drink only 12% of the beer. Seven in ten alcoholic drinks served in pubs are beer, underlining how directly a cut in beer duty will help pubs. Brewing and pubs in Easington supports 597 jobs and contributes £10.3m to the local economy.

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