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Pied à Terre leads petition for business rates to be abolished

Published:  25 October, 2018

Philip Hammond is being urged to abolish ‘debilitating’ business by some of the UK’s leading restaurateurs.

Launching the campaign, David Moore, owner of Michelin-star restaurant Pied à Terre for the past 27 years, warned that restaurants on the high street needed “urgent help” in order to survive and demanded a review of the current system.

The petition, which has the backing of deputy mayor of business, Rajesh Agrawal, Lawrence Hartley, founder of Alliance of Independent Restaurants and Lee Lyons, COO of The Fitzrovia Partnership, is calling for a review of sales tax as an alternative to business rates and a reduction on VAT for food sales.

The hospitality sector provides 2.3 million jobs in the UK, but the number of UK restaurants forced to close last year jumped by a fifth, according to research by research by Moore Stephens Law Firm.

It also reported almost 1000 restaurant industry insolvencies in 2017, compared with 825 the year before.

“Mr Hammond needs to wake up and see how disastrous the situation is,” Moore insisted. “This is not just a fight to save the popular chains we all know and love, but a battle to give relief to smaller family-run and independent businesses and more importantly, security for their employees.”

Lyons, chief operating officer at The Fitzrovia Partnership said: “Fitzrovia is home to over 250 restaurants, bars and cafes in the food and drink quarter of London - a number of which we represent. The growing business rates are therefore a serious concern to us. We want to know that our favourite bars, restaurants and cafes will continue to thrive but also that new establishments will be in a position to open without the fear of spiralling costs. We want Fitzrovia to remain a hub with thriving businesses and new openings, not closures.”