Eat Out to Help Out Pushes UK Inflation to a Five-Year Low

Consumer prices rose by just 0.2 percent year-on-year in the UK last month, according to figures released by The Office for National Statistics (ONS), as the government’s Eat Out to Help Out (EOHO) scheme drove down the cost of living.

The reduction of VAT (Value Added Tax) from 20 percent to five percent on the hospitality sector also contributed to the fall in prices. It marks the lowest inflation rate since December 2015 and a sharp fall on July’s inflation rate of 1.1 percent.

“The cost of dining out fell significantly in August thanks to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and Vat cut, leading to one of the largest falls in the annual inflation rate in recent years,” commented Jonathan Anthow, ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics.

More than 100 million meals were claimed by diners under EOHO, which offered eat-in customers a 50% discount up to £10 per person on all food and non-alcoholic drinks between Mondays and Wednesdays throughout August. The Restaurant Association of New Zealand has presented the New Zealand parliament with a petition to introduce a similar scheme here.

Both the Restaurant Association and Hospitality New Zealand have pleaded with the government for industry-specific support to help save Aotearoa’s crippled hospitality sector. So far there has been little response.