Soren Jessen calls for suspension of stamp duty on business leases

18 June 2009 by
Soren Jessen calls for suspension of stamp duty on business leases

The owner of City restaurant One Lombard Street has urged the Government to suspend stamp duty on business leases for the duration of the recession.

Soren Jessen's call came after he was landed with a £54,000 stamp duty charge when renewing his lease on the restaurant's premises, a Grade II-listed former banking hall opposite the Bank of England.

Jessen, who spent ten years in the City working for Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs before founding One Lombard Street, said: "The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the recession, so taxes like stamp duty on top of our rising costs are a kick in the teeth.

"For many these taxes are the difference between staying open and administration. It is disgraceful to think that by maintaining charges like stamp duty, the Government could actually be causing unemployment."

Jessen, who also owns Chelsea brasserie Papillon, has launched an official petition on the Number 10 website demanding the suspension of stamp duty for businesses.

Earlier this month, Caterersearch revealed that Just St James restaurant in central London was in a dispute with its landlord over a massive increase to its rent and service charge payments.

Its landlord, Legal & General, had demanded an annual increase of £75,000 in rental payments plus a new service charge of £50,000, up from an average of £3,000.

Proprietor Peter Gladwin told Caterersearch the £125,000 of new overheads in a year was "a slap in the face".

Just St James in dispute with landlord over huge rise in charges >>

Hospitality industry gives muted reaction to business rate reprieve >>

Landlords urged to be more flexible with tenants >>

Jessen takes charge at Otto Lounge >>

By Daniel Thomas

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