HU BACKS FAIR4HOSPITALITY CAMPAIGN CALLING FOR VAT CUT EXTENSION AND FURTHER SUPPORT FOR INDUSTRY
08 February 2021
With less than a month to go before the UK Chancellor delivers his Budget on 3 March, Hospitality Ulster is today backing our strategic partner UK Hospitality and their #FAIR4HOSPITALITY campaign, pressing for an extension of the 5% VAT cut and further support for the industry.
Our favourite places were hit first and hit hardest by the pandemic
The support provided to date has provided a lifeline to many and we join UKH in being extremely humbled by the actions and resilience of those who work in, visit and supply the hospitality sector.
Despite these efforts we are not out of the woods yet - many, many more favourite places and livelihoods will be lost to this pandemic unless emergency and long-term support is provided.
Please help hospitality to help GB and NI through COVID-19.
Hospitality is a key driver of economic prosperity and community wellbeing in the UK. With the right support from Government the sector can protect and create new jobs, provide safe, supervised places for people to meet, encourage customers back into town centres and help revive this nation.
Measures introduced to ensure the sector can operate safely during the pandemic have been well received by the public who also very much value the support the Government has provided to date:
According to UK Hospitality:
- 95% recognise the importance of hospitality jobs to the economy
- 91% recognise the importance of Government employee and business COVID support
- 72% are satisfied with COVID-safe measures at hospitality venues
- 80% would like to see the VAT cut extended to end 2021
But the scale of the challenge remains daunting:
- While the UK economy declined overall by 20% in the first half of 2020 the hospitality sector plummeted by around 85%.
- Eat Out to Help Out, the VAT cut and extra staycations all helped during Summer 2020 but hospitality sales still declined by 48% over Q3.
- The current lockdown leaves only one in five sector businesses believing they have enough cash flow to survive beyond February.
- Business confidence remains low: 41% of businesses believe they will fail by mid-2021 and 72% of businesses expect to fail by the end of 2021 without a change in circumstances.
- The industry is heading into the worst quarter for sales from January to March which has been compounded by a UK-wide loss of £7.8 billion of revenue in Christmas sales and the removal of the job retention bonuses which creates an additional £2.1 billion black hole in the sector’s finances in February 2021.
The hospitality industry can help GB and NI through COVID-19 BUT only if the Government takes swift and decisive action in four areas to ensure businesses survive:
1.SECURE WORKER AND PUBLIC WELLBEING
By working with the sector on gradually easing restrictions and working with industry bodies to develop a roadmap back to a sense of normality in 2021
By providing appropriate furlough support while restrictions remain in place and announcing the successor scheme to the job retention bonuses with an early drawdown facility
By regulating to provide equitable solutions on rent and extending the business rates holiday into 2021/22
4.NURTURE COMSUMER SPENDING
Through an extension of the VAT cut for the duration of 2021
YOU CAN HELP by writing to your MP using UK Hospitality's quick and easy tool. Add your voice BY CLICKING HERE
Stay focused, protect jobs, save businesses.