The latest diktat from the European Union is a sobering example of the Eurocrats’ willingness to drown small businesses in Britain in a sea of red tape. By introducing a tax on British cider producers, Brussels is not only attacking the manufacturers, but the majority of British adults who enjoy cider, as well as scrumpy.
Currently the British government exempts cider producers who manufacture less than 12,000 pints a year from paying tax, in order to boost the growth of small scale businesses in the industry. This amounts to around 80 percent of cider producers. However, the European Commission has now ruled this tax exemption is unlawful as all alcohol in the EU must be subjected to taxation.
The group which will be harmed in particular by this attack on the cider industry are the 60 percent of adult Britons who consume cider on a regular basis. Cider manufacturers currently exempt from this tax, are certain to pass on the hike in costs to the consumer. In effect, British citizens will be forced to pay higher prices, simply for enjoying one of our national drinks -cider.
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