Trade body UKHospitality (UKH) wrote to the Chancellor ahead of the deadline for Budget submissions earlier this month (January), urging the Government to extend the VAT cut for another year and continue the business rates holiday for the sector throughout this year.
It also called for the Government to reveal additional support measures such as a reformed Job Retention Bonus and to extend the repayment time for all Government-backed loans for a decade, with an extra 12 months interest-free.
The trade body went on to ask for tax payments to be further deferred to December 2021 and extend the furlough scheme until the end of June.
Meanwhile, Sunak told Tory MPs during Treasury Questions in the House of Commons yesterday (Tuesday 26 January) the cost of new coronavirus bailouts could reach £30bn and stated additional measures would be revealed in the Budget (3 March).
MP for Eastbourne Caroline Ansell asked the VAT cut for hospitality to become a permanent fixture.
She said: “I have long believed there was a compelling case for reducing VAT for the hospitality sector and the pandemic-inspired cut helped to save the season between lockdowns.”
Furthermore, Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy called for the Government to consider “reinstating” the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, or a similar initiative when lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Series of measures
Sunak stated he would review all economic support schemes at the Budget and added: “I have put in place a series of measures, but I have always said we cannot protect or save every job and every business.”
However, Treasury minister Jesse Norman also told MPs there were no plans to extend the VAT cut beyond March.
He said: “The relief comes at a significant cost and while the Government keeps taxes under review, it has no current plans to extend it further.”