A long-standing tax exemption for East Midlands small cider and perry producers will continue pending the outcome of an EU review next year.
The news has been welcomed by East Midlands MEP Andrew Lewer MBE who has added his support to campaigns opposing an EU bid to remove the exemption – worth £2,700 a year.
Last year the EU Commission ordered the UK government to end the 40-year tax exemption for producers who make less than 33 pints a day. But following campaigns by Andrew, other MEPs and CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), the EU agreed to review its decision and open a formal consultation.
“The EU review will not be completed until next year,” said Andrew Lewer. “In the meantime, it is right there is no change to the UK tax exemption.
“I believe the ruling was unfair and could have resulted in widespread closure of small cider and perry producers across the East Midlands and beyond.”
Andrew said he would continue in his efforts to reject the tax hike which could land small producers with an extra tax bill of up to £2,700.
“An increase of this size would make production uneconomical, severely impact consumer choice and cause irreparable damage to one of our most historic industries,” he added.
Confirmation was given at the inaugural meeting of the European Cider Interest Group, set-up by West Midlands MEP Daniel Dalton to campaign for cider across the EU.