Trade bodies have revealed that the Eat Out To Help Out Scheme directly benefited the Government to the tune of £250 million, while also saving thousands of jobs in the pub and hospitality sector.

Dining Out Kelsey Chance
Photograph: Unsplash/Kelsey Chance

The new data — from the British Beer & Pub Association, the British Institute of Innkeeping, and UKHospitality — follows figures announced by the government last week which revealed that a total of 130,000 claims were received for the scheme equating to a cost of £522 million for the government, with further claims still to be made.

However, with the scheme directly contributing £250 million in additional revenue for the government, as well as boosting consumer confidence to go back again and enjoy the hospitality sector, the scheme has already delivered a significant return.

According to the data from the trade associations, it enabled 200,000 staff in the pub and hospitality sector to come out of furlough early to facilitate the increase in trade generated by the initiative. This alone saved the government almost £150 million.

VAT generated on additional food and soft drink sales generated £30 million for the Treasury, and additional sales of alcoholic drinks that accompanied the meals was estimated to have boosted duty and VAT revenues by a further £65 million.

The trade bodies said the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme had shown a significant return on investment for the government, while also helping to kick-start the long road to recovery of the hospitality sector and the economy as a whole, as it returns from lockdown.

They said further government investment in the sector was still needed, though, to get it through the autumn months and to help ensure a full recovery into the new year.

They called for further government investment in the sector to boost growth by extending the reduction on VAT rates, reforming business rates, and cutting beer duty ahead of the next Budget and upcoming government reviews into business rates and alcohol duty.

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