The British Beer & Pub Association has urged the UK government to extend its VAT cut on food in pubs to include beer as well. It has made the plea as the European Commission confirmed that, within the EU’s VAT directives, member states can apply targeted reductions on VAT for drinks, including beer served in the hospitality sector.  

beer in pub

According to the BBPA, the UK government should follow the lead of Italy, Spain, and other European nations in extending its VAT cut for food and accommodation in hospitality to beer served in pubs. 

It says this would help boost drinks-led community pubs, who are less likely to serve food and so receive less benefit from VAT cuts to it and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which also does not extend to alcoholic drinks. 

While the trade association says it fully supports Eat Out to Help Out, and has been encouraging its members and the wider industry to sign up to the scheme to give them a much-needed boost, extending the government’s VAT cut to beer sold in pubs would greatly support brewers and community pubs — among the worst affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. 

BBPA chief executive, Emma McClarkin, said: “We urge the government to extend its VAT cut on food and accommodation in pubs to include beer as well. Such a move will greatly support our world class brewers and community pubs across the UK that need and are deserving of more support.” 

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