Industry issues demands for Pre-Budget Report

24 November 2008 by
Industry issues demands for Pre-Budget Report

Chancellor Alastair Darling will this afternoon deliver the Pre-Budget Report and hospitality businesses are eager to hear whether the Government is going to offer them any assistance to help them through the economic downturn.

Caterersearch rounds up the demands from the leading industry bodies:

The British Hospitality Association urged the Government to allow VAT and National Insurance payments to be deferred, reinstate capital allowances and stop introducing more regulations.

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers said taking positive steps to encourage new openings would generate the same amount of revenue for the Chancellor as next year's planned hike in alcohol duty.

The CBI issued a ten-point plan, including calls to improve the flow of capital to business; introduce modest business tax cuts to ease cash flow problems; and introduce measures to support small and medium-sized firms including a special low rate of employer National Insurance Contributions.

Consumer group The Campaign for Real Ale called for a reduction in VAT in order to assist pubs; an investigation into the feasibility of a reduced rate of tax on beer sold in pubs; and a minimum price per unit of alcohol to prevent alcohol being sold at a loss in the off- trade.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) called for a £1b Small Business Survival Fund, to help both established businesses and start-up firms, which "urgently need working capital now". The FSB pointed out that the proposal represents just 0.2% of the funds that the Government used to safeguard the banks.

By Daniel Thomas

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