Low VAT campaign launched
A new campaign is calling on the chancellor Rishi Sunak to make the 12.5% VAT rate permanent for hospitality and tourism.
The #VATsEnough campaign comes in the wake of the VAT rate for hospitality and tourism businesses rising to 12.5% on 1 October.
While the Treasury’s landmark decision last year to reduce VAT for pubs and bars helped many venues survive the crisis, under current plans VAT will return to its pre-pandemic level of 20% come April 2022, just as next year’s peak season begins.
The initiative argues that by keeping VAT at 12.5%, it will enable sector businesses to create 125,000 jobs, rebuild their balance sheets, boost investment, avoid damaging price increases and accelerate the UK’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
Everyone in it together
Trade association UKHospitality is now urging customers, suppliers, hospitality venues and employees to lobby their MPs on the need to lock in the 12.5% VAT rate for local pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels and other sector businesses.
“We’re launching the #VATsEnough campaign because a failure to act risks the future of hotels, cafés, pubs, restaurants and myriad other venues and attractions across the country," says Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality. "Our businesses bring light, life and heart to communities across the country but are battling huge challenges in terms of labour shortages and the food supply chain after 18 months of desperate struggle due to the pandemic.
“By introducing a permanent 12.5% rate of VAT in his autumn Budget, the chancellor can help us bounce back strongly, keep prices affordable for customers and level up UK jobs. Lower VAT will foster investment in businesses and high streets, accelerating our recovery from the pandemic. Let’s lock in VAT at 12.5% permanently.
“We need the whole hospitality sector, its suppliers, employees and customers to come together and demonstrate to government how critical the lower rate of VAT is for our sector’s recovery.”