Will the hospitality industry back Jacques?

By Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union, Hotel

Britain has one of the highest VAT rates for the hospitality industry in the European Union, eclipsing 21 countries that have a lower rate for hotels, and 13 with a lower rate for restaurants and caterers.

While the EU has granted powers to member states to set their own separate VAT level for hotels, pubs and restaurants, the British government is still yet to take advantage.

Arguably, a lower VAT rate for the sector would generate more tax revenue for the government through the creation of more jobs.

Jacques Borel, the man behind the 5.5 per cent VAT reduction for the hotel and restaurant industries in France, has estimated a similar result can be achieved in Britain with the creation of up to 320,000 jobs, by April 2014.

However he told pub operators at a recent MA250 conference​ that the cut would only happen if the industry pulled together across all sectors to lobby local MPs and the government before the next general election is called.

BigHospitality spoke to several pub operators attending the conference to find out whether they thought Borel’s prediction was achievable, and if they too would be fighting for a lower VAT rate for the industry.

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