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Restaurateur to continue fighting for VAT break for sector despite knock back

19 June 2009
Restaurateur to continue fighting for VAT break for sector despite knock back

A restaurateur who launched a nationwide petition demanding that Gordon Brown raise the VAT limit, says he will carry on fighting despite a knock back from a Treasury minister.

Over 50 restaurant owners throughout the Midlands have signed the on-line petition from Leicester curry house owner, Abu Taher, asking for businesses with a turnover less than £95,000 to be exempt from VAT. The current limit is £67,000.

TK Balti - posted his petition on the Number 10.gov.uk website.

However, a letter from Treasury minister, Angela Eagle, responding to the campaign, says: "The Government cannot change the UK VAT registration threshold agreement without prior agreement with the EU."

But that, said Taher, is not good enough. "The campaign is going to go on. The Government take £3.2b from the catering sector in tax every year and yet our plight is being ignored…I don't think they're helping small businesses at all."

Taher said that the problem is particularly bad for Indian restaurants because of the soaring prices of rice, oil and meat, coupled with new visa rules, which make it harder to recruit chefs from overseas.

Soren Jessen calls for suspension of stamp duty on business leases >>

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Hospitality needs 'radical' approach to VAT to ride out recession >>

VAT cut for UK restaurants will not happen, say experts >>

By Roger Bushby

E-mail your comments to Chris Druce here.

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