Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, has launched a campaign to fight back against the government’s proposed VAT tax increase, and has launched a ‘Axe The Red Wall Tax‘ website as part of a protest against a second tax rise for pubs and restaurants “which will put 12,600 businesses at risk”.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak cut the rate of value added tax to 5% cent in a bid to stimulate spending in the sector when it reopened after the first lockdown last summer. It was then raised to 12.5pc in October and is set to return to its full 20pc rate next April.
Lord said: “Britain’s pubs, cafes, restaurants, and hotels have already suffered immense damage since March 2020. Sales across hospitality are around half what they were in 2019, and the sector remains in crisis mode. Yet for some unfathomable reason, this government plans to practically double VAT for hospitality businesses, putting at risk the survival of 12,600 businesses, forcing them to raise prices for consumers and six in ten of them to cut jobs.”
He added: “This Tory tax rise is a ‘red wall’ tax on working class northerners, plain and simple. It will hurt the poorest in our society more than anyone else, eating into the disposable incomes of the UK’s poorest ten percent of people three times more harshly than the richest ten percent.
“I’m not sure why it’s left to me to tell a Conservative government not to raise taxes, but the road we are going down will do nothing but stifle investment, economic growth and recovery.”
“Nobody in the industry wants to go cap in hand to the Government – they actually want to trade.
“I get that we need to be safe at the moment but they need to look at a long term vision to help us recover over the next two to three years.
“With the VAT we are not asking for money, we’re saying don’t hike us up again yet.