Manchester’s night-time economy czar Sacha Lord is urging the Labour party to reinstate a previous “Covid era” hospitality VAT reduction from 20% to 12.5%.
The move would allow the hospitality sector to pay the same rate of VAT as they did during the pandemic, and at the same time bring the UK into line with that of other European countries, who have enjoyed rates as low as 10% dating back to 2009.
Appearing alongside Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell, deputy mayor of Greater Manchester Kate Green, and restaurateur Simon Wood, Mr Lord said action is needed now otherwise ‘we are going to see more businesses close, adding that said he would also call for an end to the “outdated and unfair” business rate scheme as well strengthening the remit of energy market regulator Ofgem.
Mr Lord, who is also co-founder of the Warehouse Project club nights in greater Manchester and a member of the Labour party since November 2022, said: “The 12.5 per cent VAT rate for the hospitality industry was a lifeline for the sectors and it must be reinstated either by this government or the next one, which I hope will be led by Sir Keir Starmer. The people’s party should implement policies that help the venues, pubs and place the people frequent.”
He added: “The hospitality industry does not want or expect handouts, but it does need a business and regulatory environment in which it can flourish after a period of unprecedented economic hardship.”