Kevin Georgel

St Austell Brewery has welcomed yesterday’s Government announcement of a cut in VAT for the hospitality industry.

For the next six months, VAT on food, accommodation and non-alocholic drinks will be cut from 20% to 5%.

“We applaud the Chancellor’s support package,” said brewery chief executive Kevin Georgel.

“Cutting VAT on food, accommodation and non-alcoholic drinks – from 20% to 5% – will help us on the road to recovery and enable us to protect jobs and livelihoods.”

He was also enthusiastic of another Government initiative announced yesterday, offering customers a 50% discount on restaurant meals throughout August.

“Our customers will be able to take full advantage of the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ initiative in all of our managed pubs, throughout August,” he said. “Our guests will receive a 50% discount – up to £10 per head – on sit down meals and non-alcoholic drinks, from Monday to Wednesday each week. This scheme is particularly welcome for hospitality businesses in the south west region as tourism, and trading throughout the summer season, are of vital importance to us.

“St Austell Brewery has faced considerable losses during the close down period, and it will take some time for us to recover from the impact of covid-19. We welcome the Government’s support for hospitality businesses like ours and its commitment to levelling up the regions.

“However, further support is still required to help smaller community pubs – where revenue is drinks led – and breweries across the country. Beer, the UK’s national drink, has been excluded from the VAT cut and eating out scheme. We would urge the Chancellor to reduce beer tax at the alcohol duty review later this year, to protect more jobs and help our industry to bounce back.”