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More than 160 hospitality CEOs call on chancellor to extend VAT and rates relief

15 February 2021 by
More than 160 hospitality CEOs call on chancellor to extend VAT and rates relief

More than 160 hospitality chief executives have written to chancellor Rishi Sunak ahead of next month's Budget calling for support including an extension of VAT and business rates relief.

The letter, co-ordinated by trade body UKHospitality, said these extensions must be delivered for the sector to survive, rebuild and drive the country's economic recovery.

Additionally, the letter calls on the government to extend the furlough scheme, improve loan repayment terms to increase liquidity, defer government-owed debt and replace the Job Retention Bonus.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "We need to make sure that the hospitality sector is in the best possible position to help rebuild as we done in the past. After the 2008 financial crisis, one in six new jobs created in the UK were in hospitality. If the government backs our sector and gives us the support we need and deserve, we can play a key role in helping it achieve its aims of levelling-up people and communities across the country.

"Extending and expanding the cut in VAT will play a crucial role in boosting demand and customer confidence. Our sector is labour-intensive so this will instantly result in more jobs. Removing business rates will allow businesses to repair shattered balance sheets, including tackling the rent mountain that has now hit £2b.

"Lots of businesses have taken a beating and many are still only just clinging on. The support that the government has provided in the past year has been crucial in keeping businesses alive, giving them breathing room and allowing them to keep jobs safe. That support must continue if we want to see as many businesses and jobs secure as possible, and hospitality play the key role we know it can play in rebuilding. There is no point in the government undoing all the good work it has done in 2020 by pulling the rug from under us as we get back on our feet."

Photo: Flickr - HM Treasury

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