The increase in VAT will mean a drop in turnover of up to 370 million and the loss of up to 6,165 jobs

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The increase in VAT from 10 to 21% to sugary and sweetened beverages planned by the Government will result in a direct drop in turnover of between 119 and 370 million euros per year, as a result of the decline in consumption and between 1,980 and 6,165 jobs will be lost throughout the agri-food chain. The impact would focus mainly on the agricultural sector and industry.

This is reflected in a study commissioned by the large employers throughout the sector (farmers, industry, supermarkets and hospitality), to the consultancy PwC. This report values the effectiveness and efficiency that this tax will have in the economy and compares it to other countries where it has already been approved.

According to this analysis, households with the lowest socioeconomic status, which are about 4.7 million (17% of national income), would end up supporting 22% of the tax. This shows that there is “a regression in the rate”, according to Anna Merino, author of the study at PwC.

For José María Bonmatí, CEO of Aecoc, the association of manufacturers and consumer companies, in other countries such as France or Mexico, which approved the tax at the time, it has been seen that the tax “does not achieve the desired effects on the health of the population and yet does have an impact on the economy”.

Paula Nevado, General Secretary of Restoration Marks, stressed that this is an inefficient and unfair measure” and called for “rigor, method and scientific basis” when proposing such uploads. “The impact on hospitality is already quantified,” he added.

SENSITIVITY

Mauricio García de Quevedo of the Federation of Food and Beverage Industries (FIAB) called on the Government to “be sensitive to the current economic situation”. “Fiscal measures have to come when the economy starts to revive, not now,” he said.

In Catalonia the effect of the rate that was approved three years ago “has been zero, because consumption has been similar to that of other regions without the tax”, as explained Josep Puxeu, CEO of Anfabra, the Association of Refreshing Drinks. “There has been no effect of collecting or changing consumption habits,” he said.

20-25% of hospitality turnover is based on this type of soft drink, so it “would have a clear effect on consumption”. The Minister of Finance and Government spokeswoman, María Jesús Montero, said today that the catering sector “can be calm” because “the VAT of hospitality will not be altered”. “It’s a deterrent, not a fundraising measure,” he said.

According to García de Quevedo, before knowing this measure the sector of industries and beverages already estimated losing 850 companies,with a turnover drop of 6%. In the hospitality shop, a third of the establishments could close. There are 90,000 companies and 400,000 workers who will be out of work.

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