A petition to extend the VAT cut for the hospitality industry until at least March 2022 has surpassed 10,000 signatures, meaning the government must respond to it.
Andy Lennox, owner of Zim Braai restaurants in Bournemouth and Poole, launched the petition just last week.
Last summer the chancellor cut VAT on food, accommodation and attractions for six months from 20% to 5%, which was then extended to the end of March 2021. Although there have been mounting calls for this to be extended further given the restrictions still in place on the sector, no further announcements are expected ahead of the chancellor's budget on 3 March. A treasury minister said last week that there were "no current plans" to extend the VAT cut.
The petition said the 5% VAT rate was the "single biggest recovery mechanism from the last two lockdowns" and would help keep inflation and costs down, encourage investment, help the industry return to profitability and save hundreds of thousands of jobs.
If the petition reaches 100,000, it will be considered for debate in Parliament.