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EOHO boosts Treasury coffers by £250m

Published:  09 September, 2020

The Eat to Help Out scheme (EOHO) directly benefitted the government to the tune of £250m, while also saving thousands of jobs in the pub and hospitality sector, according to new data.

The data, released by UK Hospitality, the British Beer & Pub Association and British Institute of Innkeeping, follows figures announced by the government last week, which revealed that a total of 130,000 claims were received for the scheme equating to a cost of £522m for the government, with further claims still to be made.

However, with the scheme directly contributing £250m in additional revenue for the government, as well as boosting consumer confidence to go back again and enjoy the hospitality sector going forwards, the scheme has already delivered a significant return, said the trade body trio. 

According to the data, the scheme enabled 200,000 staff in the pub and hospitality sector to come out of furlough early to facilitate the increase in trade generated by the initiative. This alone saved the government almost £150m in furlough costs.

VAT generated on additional food and soft drink sales from the scheme generated £30m for the treasury and additional sales of alcoholic drinks that accompanied the meals was estimated to have boosted duty and VAT revenues by a further £65m.

But the trade bodies said further government investment in the sector was still needed to get it through the autumn months and to help ensure a full recovery into the new year. 

They called for further government investment in the sector to boost growth by extending the reduction on VAT rates, reforming business rates and cutting beer duty ahead of the next Budget and upcoming government reviews.

“Eat Out to Help Out was a shot in the arm for consumer confidence in eating and drinking out of home, right across the country. It gave our businesses the opportunity to showcase the investment they had made to keep customers safe while also making them feel welcome," said Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality

“As we approach winter we need to ensure the right support in place to stimulate a more sustained demand. A significant starting point would be to extend the VAT cut, ensuring the business rates holiday is continued next year and getting more of the UK economy back on its feet, including those businesses that remain closed.”

Last week, it was revealed that food sales went through the roof in the first three weeks of the EOHO scheme, helping to normalise going out for Brits and jumpstarting the UK hospitality industry back towards health and prosperity.