Hospitality: 3300 hosts demonstrate for a permanent reduction in sales tax

More than 3300 restaurateurs and hoteliers from all over Baden-Württemberg demonstrated for a permanent reduction in sales tax on food.

Hospitality: 3300 hosts demonstrate for a permanent reduction in sales tax

More than 3300 restaurateurs and hoteliers from all over Baden-Württemberg demonstrated for a permanent reduction in sales tax on food. A return to the normal tax rate at the end of the year would be wrong and counterproductive, said Dehoga country boss Fritz Engelhardt on Monday at the spring festival in Stuttgart. This would affect an economically still badly hit industry. In Bavaria, too, more than 3,000 hosts opposed higher VAT on food on Monday.

"Everything that we urgently need right now - i.e. competitive wages and investments in energy-saving technology and climate protection - would no longer be affordable for many of us because the earnings situation would simply no longer provide it," said Engelhardt. In addition, the reduced tax rate has so far partially cushioned the enormous cost increases. But these reserves are gone. The hosts would have to pass on an increase one to one, he said.

A price shock would be unavoidable - which would then also slow down demand in restaurants, cafés and bistros. "The result would be significant sales losses for us and our suppliers. And if sales collapse across the board, that means less sales tax revenue for the Minister of Finance," said Engelhardt.

The topic has been driving the industry for a long time. The sales tax on food was reduced from 19 to 7 percent during the corona pandemic - originally limited to the end of 2022. However, due to the energy crisis, the measure was extended until the end of 2023.

Support for the demand came from state politics: both the parliamentary group leaders Manuel Hagel (CDU) and Hans-Ulrich Rülke (FDP) and SPD Secretary General Sascha Binder spoke out in favor of it. More critical tones, however, came from Greens parliamentary group leader Andreas Schwarz. The measure was intended as a bridge out of the crisis. "We can't get the 7 percent going in the long run," he said.

In the 2021 federal election campaign, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had already spoken out in favor of a permanently reduced VAT in gastronomy. Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) signaled support for the project in March.

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