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Hospitality leaders issue wish list ahead of the Budget

08 April 2009 by
Hospitality leaders issue wish list ahead of the Budget

Hospitality industry leaders have issued their wish list for the Budget, which takes place on 22 April, with tax at the top of the agenda.

Senior figures are calling for the return of the Capital Buildings Allowance, which offers tax breaks for building new properties, a reduction or stasis in VAT, a stimulus package for businesses and the scrapping of proposed increases in beer tax.

More than 200 MPs, including 97 Labour backbenchers have signed an Early Day Motion supporting the British Beer & Pub Association's (BBPA) "Axe the Beer Tax, Save the Pub" campaign.

The British Hospitality Association (BHA), which supports the BBPA's campaign, has called for the decision for the phasing out of Capital Buildings Allowance to be reversed and a postponement on the date for the planned increase in VAT.

Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive of the BHA, said: "Alcohol duty is obviously a big issue for us, we'd like to see an increase in capital allowance and a decrease in hotel tax, but I don't think this is the year it will happen.

"VAT is set to go back up to 17.5% at least on 31 December at midnight- I wonder if it will only be that much, and why can't the Government do it a month later and not on New Year's Eve, the busiest night of the year?"

Kurt Janson, policy director at the Tourism Alliance called for businesses to be given a stimulus package to pull them out of the downturn.

"The focus of the forthcoming budget needs to focus on providing a stimulus package to help UK businesses survive the downturn and provide the growth required to pull the country out of the current recession," he said.

"This should include increased measures to ensure that businesses are able to gain the access to the funds that they need to be able to survive the downturn."

VAT cut for UK restaurants will not happen>>

BHA calls for deferral of NI and VAT and return of capital allowances>>

Scrapping building allowance will cost hotel industry millions>>

By Gemma Sharkey

E-mail your comments to Gemma Sharkey here.

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