In addition to sounding the alarm that over a third of its members were struggling to break even, this week has also seen the BBPA call upon the Treasury to extend its VAT cut on food in pubs to include beer as well.
The government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme allows publicans to serve VAT-exempt meals on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights – which traditionally see a slower rate of business.
But the fact that the new programme doesn’t include alcoholic drinks has baffled prominent figures within the UK pub trade, who have pointed to the example European Commission (don’t even start with the irony) who have permitted restaurants and bars throughout several member states (including Spain and Italy) to encompass beer in their own respective VAT waiver schemes.
“We welcome confirmation from the European Commission that VAT can be reduced on beer served in pubs and urge the UK Government to do so, as it has done for food and accommodation already,” said BBPA chief Emma McClarkin. “Such a move will greatly support our world class brewers and community pubs across the UK that need and are deserving of more support.”