Extension to VAT reduction is top priority for hospitality businesses, says poll

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

Extension to VAT reduction is top priority for hospitality businesses, says poll

Related tags: Vat, lockdown, Eatouttohelpout, Restaurant, Public house, QSR

An extension to the reduction in VAT for food and drink beyond 21 January is the top priority of government support for hospitality businesses, according to the latest leaders poll.

More than a third of businesses (37%) would like to see the current cut in VAT from 20% to 5% continue beyond the January cut off date as the main measure taken by Government, just ahead of a further freeze on business rates, which 34% of operators would like to see.

An extension to the rent moratorium was requested by 10% of owners while an extension to the Government’s Job Retention Scheme was preferable for 11% of business owners.

While many hospitality businesses have signed up for the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which comes into play tomorrow for the duration of August, less than 20% (17%) of respondents to the poll, conducted by Lumina Intelligence, say they plan to continue offering discounts after the scheme ends

When asked about face masks for staff, 59% of operators asked say they will not enforce them if the law applies to their business.

One concern among publicans, according to this week’s poll, is how businesses will be able to survive once the inclement weather kicks in after the summer.

“The big problem will come when the weather changes. People are happy to have a pint in a beer garden but autumn and winter trade will be when more help is needed. The government should plan for this now,” says one pub owner.

“[We need] grants for the conversion and upgrade to turn beer garden into all weather areas,” says another.

The weekly poll also indicates a slight increase in business confidence with the number of hospitality operators saying they are confident in the future of their business increasing from 66% to 73% week on week.

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