The British Beer and Pub Association has written to Pubs Minister Bob Neill MP to request the VAT rise is postponed for 30 days to give the industry a chance to recover from the arctic weather conditions that have battered the UK throughout December.
It argued that the extreme weather has led to many Christmas party cancellations and reduced sales.
“The run up to Christmas is normally one of the busiest times for pubs as people from all walks of life meet in pubs to celebrate the festive season,” said Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA.
“The very cold snap over the last few weeks has had a considerable adverse effect on pubs as parties have been cancelled and people struggle to travel. If there was any consideration by Ministers that the VAT increase should be postponed it would provide considerable help to the industry.”
Pint prices to increase
The association said the 2.5 per cent VAT rise on 4 January will increase the price of a supermarket-bought pint of beer by just 2p, but will raise that of a pub-bought pint by 6p.
The British Fashion Council has also called for the postponement of the VAT increase for 30 days.