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31st July 2020

BBPA repeats call for Government to cut VAT on beer in pubs, as European Commission gives the green light

Trade association says move would help boost drinks led community pubs who are less likely to benefit from VAT cut to food and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme

The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today urged the UK Government to extend its VAT cut on food in pubs to include beer as well.

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. 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 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, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, 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.

“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.”


For further information, please contact:

David Wilson, Public Affairs Director: 07557 405815

Nick Lawrie, Digital Communications Manager: 020 7627 9156/ 07824 359 013

Notes to editors:

The British Beer & Pub Association is the leading body representing Britain’s brewers and pub companies. The Association is more than a century old and was originally founded as the Brewers’ Society in 1904. Our members account for some 90 per cent of beer brewed in Britain today, and own around 20,000 of the nation’s pubs.