Hospitality sector ‘remains utmost in Chancellor’s mind’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Industry needs: a cut in beer tax is just one of the measures the trade has been calling for ahead of the Budget tomorrow (Wednesday 3 March) (image: Getty/DGLimages
Industry needs: a cut in beer tax is just one of the measures the trade has been calling for ahead of the Budget tomorrow (Wednesday 3 March) (image: Getty/DGLimages

Related tags: Legislation, Chancellor, Government, Beer duty, Tax, Budget

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has said the hospitality trade ‘remains utmost’ in his mind, in an interview on Times Radio.

This came just days before Sunak is set to announce his plans in the Budget tomorrow (Wednesday 3 March) and he did state duties will be part of the plan.

Pub owner and model Jodie Kidd had previously spoken on Times Radio​, outlining her calls for a cut in beer duty and highlighted the importance of pubs, stating there wouldn’t be anywhere to celebrate restrictions easing if something wasn’t done about alcohol tax.

Beer tax

Chancellor Sunak confirmed duties will be mentioned during tomorrow’s Budget before outlining how alcohol tax was frozen last year.

He went on to say how important the sector was to not only the UK economy with 150,000 businesses and employing more than 2m people but also to the communities they serve.

This was followed by him laying out the measures the Government has previously put in place amid the pandemic in a bid to help the sector such as a cut in VAT to 5% on soft drinks, food and accommodation as well as the business rates holiday.

Funding available

Sunak also touched on the grants that were recently announced where pubs can access funding of up to £18,000, dependent on rateable value.

It means those with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive £8,000, those with a £15,000 to £51,000 rateable value are eligible for £12,000 in funding and those with a rateable value of more than £51,000 can get £18,000.

This was a move welcomed by the industry alongside calls to ensure the grants were paid swiftly by the local authorities, which will receive them in April and aim distribute them as quickly as possible.

However, trade bodies have called for the support to be extended further with continuations of the business rates holiday and furlough scheme alongside widening the VAT cut to include alcohol and increase time to pay debt back.

Related topics: Legislation

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