The reduction in VAT from 20 per cent would create between 140,000 and 320,000 jobs in the UK hospitality industry and Borel’s campaign has already been backed by other leading bodies including the British Beer & Pub Association, the British Hospitality Association and VisitBritain.
A long road…
“Although this could be a long road, we believe campaigning for a VAT reduction is a really useful way to help our licensees, by making the cost of eating out that bit more affordable for consumers,” said Paul Wells, chairman of the Family Brewers.
“When you consider that people buying food in pubs are paying 20 per cent VAT, compared to zero in the supermarket, the eating out market needs this cut.
“If we can increase custom in pubs, it’s also a great way to increase employment, especially among the youth, in a sector that already employs almost one millionpeople.”
Hospitality industry’s backing
The campaign to cut VAT has already achieved success in Germany, Belgium, Sweden and France, and last summer the Irish Government also slashed VAT for the sector from 13.5 per cent to 9 per cent. Borel, the influential French leisure entrepreneur and lobbyist, is aiming to influence Government policy before the next general election.
Borel said: “A VAT rate cut is essential for the UK economy and hospitality is ideally placed to help kick-start it because jobs can be created relatively quickly and at relatively low cost.”
Meanwhile, British Hospitality Association chief executive Ufi Ibrahim has refreshed calls for the industry to put pressure on the Government to reduce VAT for the sector to help it to grow.
Speaking at the Master Innholders’ General Managers Conference in London yesterday, Ibrahim said: “We want everyone to become an ambassador of hospitality. I’m asking you to stand up and make a difference by adopting an MP or your local councillor and put pressure on them to change the regulations that hamper our industry.”