The British Beer & Pub Association has today welcomed and responded to the publication of a Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee report on the impact of Coronavirus.
The report recommends that VAT cuts should be extended for the cultural sector, such as for ticket sales in theatres, beyond January 2021 for the next three years, but not the hospitality sector or pubs.
The British Beer & Pub Association says the report should have gone further and recommended extending the VAT cut for pubs also beyond January 2021, as well as including alcoholic drinks sold in pubs as part of the cut. This is because pubs have been amongst the hardest hit by the COVID-19 lockdown and face a long road to recovery.
The trade association has welcomed the reports recommendation for a DCMS led national campaign to restore consumer confidence in the domestic UK holiday market.
It said such a campaign would help pubs and brewers in tourist destinations across the UK, especially those who offer accommodation. It said it was important to showcase that those pubs and brewers are open for business, helping them to make up for lost business during the lockdown period and from decreased international tourists to the UK.
Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:
“On the whole, we welcome the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee report on the impact of Coronavirus. It is important that across Government policies are considered to support our sectors on their long road to recovery.
“It is disappointing to see the report has less focus supporting tourism. More can and should be done to support the sector. Pubs have been amongst the hardest hit businesses by the COVID-19 lockdown. Any extension to a VAT cut for the cultural sector should also be considered for hospitality and pubs too, and include alcohol sold in pubs, helping them survive through to the next season. Both sectors support one another so it makes sense to assist them together.
“A DCMS led campaign to encourage ‘staycations’ in the UK would be most welcome. Our sector needs people to know they are open for business and a campaign like this would help support that. It is especially important that domestic holiday makers consider the UK as we face decreased international tourists for the foreseeable future.”