Amid prize-winning bulls and horse jumping, South West TPA supporters gathered 360 signatures for our ‘Cut Cider Tax!’ petition at the Mid-Somerset Agricultural Show in Shepton Mallet. ‘They were very keen to sign our petition,’ said supporter Lucy Wildman. ‘We left the stand for a few minutes and they kept on signing even when we weren’t there!’
‘Come here me zonner,’ said one local Somerset stallholder, ‘I can’t abide tax on cider. I can remember when farmers used to give it away to workers.’
Local cider makers, Hecks Farmhouse and Wilcox Cider, were both very supportive of our campaign to cut the cider duty escalator. Hecks are a family concern that have been making cider for six generations since 1840. They ferment the cider in barrels and served it draught from the wood at the show.
‘The cost of living going up is putting pressure on our costs,’ said one of these cider makers, ‘so the last thing we need is cider duty going up every year.’ The current cider duty escalator is 2 per cent on top of the rate of inflation, which could add between 4 per cent and 5 per cent to the cost of a pint of cider annually. ‘If the chancellor can scrap this for beer, he should do the same for cider. It’s only fair!’
Sign our online petition here calling for an end to the cider duty escalator.