Initial indications from CAMRA indicate some good news and some not-so-good news. For some time CAMRA has campaigned on the principle of a differential rate of tax for draught beer and cider. This was aimed to balance the difference between beer and cider sales in pubs and the much cheaper sales in supermarkets. The good news is that in the budget today the principle of differential rates for draught beer and cider has been accepted and acted on, along with the raising of the lower strength duty threshold from 2.8% to 3.5% and a progressive duty system for small cider makers.
The sting in the tail is that for the changes for the duty rate to be applied for draught beer and cider, these drinks must be in a minimum of a 40-litre container. This means that smaller brewery beers and bag in a box ciders and perries will not benefit from the change. This defeats CAMRA’s objective to help small pubs and breweries as well as cider makers. CAMRA notes that there will be follow-up consultations on the change and the campaign will still go on to make the change fairer.