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Support for SMEs

Volume 714: debated on Tuesday 17 May 2022

Small and medium-sized businesses are at the heart of our economy, creating jobs and prosperity across the UK. Last week, we wrote to more than 2 million businesses setting out our support to them, including a £1,000 cut to employment taxes, extending the annual investment allowance limit, reducing business rates and cutting fuel duty by 5p.

In considering responses to the Treasury’s consultation on simplifying alcohol duty, will my hon. Friend consider a model that broadly relates duty to alcohol strength but without creating massive complexity and cost for the UK’s thousands of off licences and wine shops, including important small and medium-sized enterprises in Shropshire, which create jobs, supporting both the wine import and brewing sectors?

As my right hon. Friend knows, we have set out our plans to make alcohol duty simpler and fairer—a change that is long overdue. That includes a new relief for draught beer, small producer relief for craft cider makers and the end of the higher rate for sparkling wine. I am listening to the sector and I have visited businesses to hear for myself, to make sure that the reforms work in practice.