“Reduce Hospitality VAT” Gathering Momentum – Now at Over 13,000

A petition to reduce the VAT on Hospitality to 10% from the current rate of 20% has been launched and now stands at over 13,700 supporting signatures.

The petition, which can be viewed here follows a demonstration outside the Treasury in November last year and is urging the government to support the sector in order for it to survive the storm – or risk losing a large proportion of the industry to it.

The petition highlights that the current tax system is disproportional and should be changed alongside changes in tax on supermarkets and online sales.

The industry the petition says is facing “unprecedented hurdles”:

– Wages have increased 20%
– Food prices have risen by 8.5%
– Utilities have doubled
– Rates are soon to rise
– We have higher debts payments coming out of the pandemic

presenting a perfect storm of costs that pubs/bars, restaurants and accommodation providers cannot absorb.

The petition is calling on the government to reduce VAT to 10% to help weather this unprecedented storm, stating that this rate should be extended to:

• Hot Food
• Soft Drinks
• Hot Drinks
• Events & Door Tickets
• Accommodation
• Attractions

Just one day before the Chancellor’s spring budget on March 15 Scotland’s Licensed Trade Association managing director Colin Wilkinson once again called for the VAT cut “: “The Chancellor, if he were to reduce VAT for hospitality, would be sending out a clear and unequivocal message that he recognises the importance of the sector to the economy.

“We need to see a host of urgent measures to help businesses, including a reduction in the rate of VAT and lower business rates.”

There has been a long-running campaign by the tourism industry dating back over 13 years for the UK to introduce a rate on VAT below the standard rate of 20% on services supplied to tourists.

Supporters of the cut, including CLHNews who wrote to then Chancellor (and now Prime Minister ) Rishi Sunak , have argued that this would allow hotels, restaurants, pubs and visitor attractions to cut prices, boosting sales and employment in this sector, which in turn would generate growth in the wider economy, all thus far to no avail.

The government is obligated to consider parliamentary debates for petitions which reach over 10,000 signatures, and this current petition standing at 13,700 signatures has a deadline of May 7, 2023