7th July 2015
One of Somerset´s leading artisan cider producers has met with local MEP Ashley Fox to discuss new tax measures he says could send him out of business.
Earlier this year the EU Commission ordered the UK to end its 40 year tax exemption on small cider and perry producers. Somerset has over 300 small producers and some of them could face an increased tax bill of up to four thousand pounds. This only affects companies producing less than 12000 pints a year.
Guy Smith, from the Somerset Cider Company in Langport, said "Introducing this tax will deter us from investing in our product and will almost certainly stop us from investing in our 250 year old orchard. It may even drive us out business. We are not getting rich producing a few thousands pints a year, but, we are preserving century old traditions. Ashley is very understanding and his help is invaluable."
Ashley Fox MEP, who met Guy at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, added, "Small vineyards and micro-breweries have the tax exemption but it doesn´t recognise cider. We need a rule change so the small cider producer is recognised in the same way."
"Guy and hundreds of other producers are preserving a way of life and a heritage that is at its richest in Somerset," concluded Ashley.
Ashley has an online petition at ciderduty.com, please sign up if you want to join the fight against the tax.