BOSSES at an award-winning Barrhead brewery have slammed last week’s Budget as a “kick in the teeth” for business.
Chancellor George Osbourne’s decision to increase tax on beer is bad news for the family-run Kelburn Brewery.
The Barrhead firm has been a local success story, winning 32 industry awards since it opened in 2001, but owner Derek Moore said the Budget announcement will hit them hard.
He added: “This is a real kick in the teeth to the local brewing sector, which is one of the few British success stories of recent years.
“Local brewers are just the kind of business this government says it wants to see prosper – they create jobs for local people and contribute to the local and wider British economy by using home-grown ingredients – yet the current beer taxation regime is killing off our main route to market, namely the British pub.”
Beer duty increased by 7.2 per cent at midnight last night.
This is a result of the alcohol duty escalator which automatically raises excise rates by two per cent above inflation.
In real terms, this will add 4p to the price of a pint of beer, 15p to a bottle of wine and 54p to a bottle of spirits.
Kelburn Brewery, which employs five people, is a member of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), which represents around 450 craft brewers across Britain.
SIBA and its members have campaigned vigorously against the Government’s duty escalator.
Derek added: “The Treasury claimed before the Budget that their beer duty escalator is ‘baked in’. We say it is half baked!
“Continuing to increase taxes on draught beer, drunk in the socially-responsible environment of the pub, will serve only to increase purchases of cheap vodka for unsupervised home consumption.
“We fail to see how this policy can help tackle binge drinking.”