Time to Fight Back: Freezing Alcohol Duty and Cutting VAT Crucial for UK Hospitality Survival

The UK hospitality industry faces one of the highest levels of alcohol duty and taxes in the world. From spirits to wine and beers, operators are grappling with hefty levies that eat into their profits and hinder their ability to compete on a global scale. Comparisons with other countries paint a stark picture – while we struggle under the weight of punitive taxes, our counterparts in Europe enjoy lower duty rates, giving them a competitive edge and fostering a more vibrant hospitality landscape.

European countries enjoy VAT rates in the hospitality sector are considerably lower than in the UK and have done for years. While they enjoy reduced rates, we are burdened with a high VAT that further squeezes margins and deters both domestic and international visitors. This imbalance not only hurts businesses but also affects consumers who face higher prices when dining out or enjoying a drink with friends.

The consequences of these excessive taxes are dire. We’ve witnessed a wave of closures and job losses across the hospitality sector, with iconic establishments disappearing from our high streets at an alarming rate. The once-thriving heart of our communities is now in jeopardy, and the Treasury is losing out on vital revenue as businesses struggle to stay afloat or are forced to shut their doors for good.
With the Budget fast approaching and a general election on the horizon, now is the time for the hospitality sector to make its voice heard.

We must lobby our MPs relentlessly, urging them to support measures that will alleviate the burden on our industry. Freezing alcohol duty and cutting hospitality VAT to 10% – even if just for a trial period – could provide the lifeline that businesses desperately need.

We have produced a poster which you can download from our website urging all our readers to lobby their MP urging them to back a appeal from the sector to reduce punitive taxes which are forcing ones profitable pubs bars restaurants and hotels out of business with many people facing financial ruin.

Across the globe, we’ve seen the success of such policies in stimulating growth and revitalizing the hospitality sector. It’s time for the UK to follow suit and give our businesses the fighting chance they deserve. But we cannot do it alone. Operators, employees, and customers alike must come together and support this crucial cause.

To galvanize support, we urge operators to download the CLH poster and prominently display it in their venues. Encourage your customers to join the fight by writing to their MP, highlighting the urgent need for action. Together, we can make a difference and ensure a brighter future for the UK hospitality industry.

I really do hope that we can unite fight back, and let’s reclaim our place as a vibrant and thriving hospitality nation.