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EUROPE: Governments warned over hospitality tax burden

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Europe's governments must be wary of adding to the hospitality sector's tax burden as the industry is responsible for one out of every 13 jobs in the continent, a new report says. 

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The report – entitled The Hospitality Sector in Europe – reveals that in 2010 the industry, including pubs, bars and restaurants, contributed EUR1trillion in output, around 8% of the EU's total economic output. The sector also supported 16.6m jobs in Europe and contributed around EUR126bn to public coffers in various taxes, the report states. 

But the study warns: “Measures adopted in times of austerity, which increase tax rates at a time when disposable incomes are falling, are likely to undermine the ability of the sector to generate growth. The short term response to this is likely to be cost cutting measures, and later, a loss in permanent capacity.” 

Demetrio Carceller, president of The Brewers of Europe, one of the group's behind the report, says the hospitality sector is vital as it is the main route to market for brewers. “At a time when growth appears on the agenda of every EU summit, it is important not to take growth in the hospitality sector for granted.”

He adds: “This means looking at the impact of prices, employment and material costs, and also carefully weighing up the different impacts of all policy options to ensure optimum overall contributions to the wider economy and society.” 


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