TO: THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER, HM TREASURY
We call on the UK Government to continue to support the cider sector and consumer choice by rejecting the EU’s demand that a new tax of up to £2,700 is imposed on very small cider producers.
The European Union (EU) is proposing to ban the UK’s small cider producer duty exemption. This exemption supports very small cider makers, such as hobbyists or farm-gate producers, for whom such small scale production is an integral part of rural culture.
The proposed action would see very small cider producers landed with a tax bill of up to £2,700 each and every year. We call on the Government to reject the EU’s request and put UK cider producers and consumers first.
Why is this important?
CAMRA fully supports the production and availability of real ciders and perries. In many cases the proposed action would make small scale cider production uneconomic. This is wholly disproportionate given that a small producer selling up to 33 pints a day has no capacity to affect EU trade to any meaningful degree.
The case for rejecting the request by the EU to tax small cider producers:
– Someone producing less than 70hl (12,000 pints) will generally be making less than £10,000 a year in sales. This means the tax exemption only applies to very small businesses, such as hobbyists or farm-gate producers. If a duty were to be levied on these producers it would make their operations uneconomic and lead to wide-spread closure.
– 80% of Britain’s 500+ cider makers are currently small producers. A tax will severely impact on consumer choice and will cause irreparable damage to one of the nation’s most historic industries.
– An exemption from this duty is essential to supporting the growth of a vibrant but still small cider and perry market.
– A tax charge of up to £2,700 would drive many small cider producers out of business, costing jobs, harming the countryside and dramatically reducing consumer choice.
‘Ever closer union’, the stated aim of the Common Market when it was founded in 1957, was its stated aim when prime minister Edward Heath took Britain into it in 1973, without either a prior manifesto commitment or a referendum. It remains the EU’s stated aim today.
“Our sole commitment is to negotiate; no more, no less” said the Conservatives’ 1970 manifesto, entitled, with tragic irony, A Better Tomorrow.
Having promised to do no more than negotiate terms of entry, the Heath government had no mandate from the electorate to take the country in. But take us in it did and in more ways than one.
Just as an octopus grips its prey with the aim of ‘ever closer union’, so the EU grips Britain.
Do we need to see the inside of the creature’s stomach before we understand what the phrase ‘ever closer union’ really means?
Today it’s the small cider makers. Tomorrow it could be your business that is targeted.
Please sign the petition. I have.