The small businessmen’s organisation Unizo believes the price of a beer could go up 10%. Wim Van der Borght runs 23 pubs in the Antwerp area. A pint already cost 3.20 euros. It’s going up to 3.50 euros in his premises.
“Why are you prepared to pay a steep price in Milan, but does it have to be cheap in Antwerp?” he wonders. “People are happy to fork out 5, 6 or even 7 euros in a beer garden in Milan. In Antwerp they want it cheap. It’s not realistic!” he continues.
Brewers have not only increased the price of beer but soft drinks too will become more expensive!
Belgium decided to slash VAT from 21% to 6% on food and drink till September. Still, Van der Borght doesn’t see any contradiction in the price hike for customers. “The VAT cut is a kind of compensation. We’ve been closed for seven months. The sector is reeling. People think you can make a fast buck in hospitality, but it’s the sector with the largest number of bankruptcies”.