The trade association 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.
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.
The organisation said 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 said it fully supports the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, 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.
Emma McClarkin, CEO of the BBPA, said: “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.
“The cuts to VAT on food and accommodation, and the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, have been welcomed by our sector, and we continue to support and promote them. For community led pubs that don’t do food, and brewers, more support can and should be given.”
McClarkin added: “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.”