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UKH urges sector to join Budget campaign

Published:  18 February, 2021

UK Hospitality (UKH) has called on the industry to make its voice heard to secure further VAT cut and business rates holiday. 

Leaders from across the hospitality sector have joined forces to send a message to the government ahead of next month’s Budget.

In a series of testimonials produced by UKH, representatives from leading hospitality and tourism businesses have called on the government to help support businesses hit by the Covid crisis by extending the VAT cut and business rates holiday. 

The videos highlight the crucial help provided by the support and stress the need for these measures to be extended.

UKH said the aim was for the Chancellor to extend the VAT cut to 5% for a further 12 months, and ensure it applies across the broad hospitality sector, alongside a further business rates holiday for hospitality for 2021/22 to protect communities and repair businesses.

In order to drive home the message to MPs, UKH is now encouraging everyone across the hospitality sector to record their own video. 

The trade body has also repeated its call for businesses to write to their MPs ahead of the Budget on 3  March.

“Slashing VAT and providing a business rates holiday have been two hugely beneficial lifelines for hospitality businesses. This support, specifically tailored for our sector, has been crucial in keeping businesses afloat and jobs alive. It has given employers the breathing room they needed to survive the crisis and ensure they are still standing to help pick up the pieces this year,” said CEO Kate Nicholls. 

However, she added, the support could not be allowed to expire, warning that a failure to extend it into next year would risk undoing much of the good work that has been done to keep businesses afloat. 

“If it is to have the maximum positive effect on businesses, it has to be extended at the Budget. Many businesses are still not out of the woods and the coming weeks and months are going to be crucial. They need all the support that the government can give them and the best way to help is to extend the VAT cut and business rates holiday,” she said. 

Yesterday, new research by CGA, commissioned by UKH, revealed that hospitality businesses were not "significant areas" of Covid transmission in 2020 and should be central to reopening plans in 2021.