North West Region

Reduce VAT in hospitality sector – Nuttall

Reduce VAT in hospitality sector – Nuttall

Oct 18 – to Burnley Express

Dear Editor,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the column this week titled ‘A good pint needn’t break the bank’  which focused on the balance between improved choice of real ales found in an increasing number of pubs in East Lancashire and the cost of said pint.

It comes as no surprise that I enjoy my fair share of good beer, after all, my party leader is Nigel Farage, a man quite often seen drinking in the real ales pubs of Kent.

Sadly, pubs are in serious trouble not only in Lancashire but across England. Sure, pubs which have the luxury of being able to offer a scenic view are able to justify an increase in the cost of a pint of beer, but many, sadly do not.

Many pubs are dying because regulars simply can’t afford to be regulars any longer. With upward pressures on beer duty, VAT and other costs associated with being a landlord, the price of a pint has gone up while supermarkets are selling it at a loss.

Now, in no way do I advocate a minimum price on alcohol like they have in Scotland – it serves to only punish responsible drinkers more – but a levelling of the playing field is absolutely necessary. Quite simply, landlords need to be freed of much of the tax and legislation that stores such as Tesco and Asda do without.

I would like to see pubs, and any catering and hospitality business for that matter, have their level of VAT reduced drastically in order to allow them to compete with supermarkets. France and much of continental Europe protect their hospitality trade with lower levels of VAT and the result is bars are staying open and employing people.

This is something to consider sooner rather than later before any more beloved local pubs call for last orders one final time.

Yours faithfully

Paul Nuttall

One comment

  1. Or abolish it altogether

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