Phew! French restaurants spared tax hike

Phew! French restaurants spared tax hike

Under plans unveiled a day earlier, value added tax (VAT), on food served in bistros, cafes and restaurants would have been levied at 10 percent from January 1, 2014, up from the current rate of seven percent.

Officials caused further dismay in the food world by refusing to rule out a move to apply the standard rate, which is going up to 20 percent, to restaurant food.

But faced with an outcry from trade representatives who see VAT increases as destroying jobs, Moscovici on Wednesday insisted there were no such plans.

"The restaurant rate will be 10 percent," Mosovici said. "I stress 10 percent and not 20 percent. Nobody is looking at putting restaurant food back on the standard rate."