Hospitality and tourism industry bosses in Nottingham have welcomed Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s proposals to help some of the hardest-hit sectors recover from the economic crisis, describing the bold new measures as “a much-needed boost to the industry.”
In yesterday’s mini-Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced plans to cut VAT on hospitality from 20% to 5% as part of a £30bn plan to prevent mass unemployment and stimulate the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will apply to eat-in or hot takeaway food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, and attractions such as cinemas, theme parks and zoos.
He also announced the “Eat Out to Help Out” discount which will give 50% off to people dining out in August from Monday to Wednesday at participating restaurants, a scheme which he said would help protect 1.8million jobs.
Nottingham’s tourism and hospitality leaders welcomed the measures, expressing their confidence that these schemes will boost trade and protect jobs in two of the hardest-hit sectors during the coronavirus pandemic.
Robert Dixon, interim Chief Executive of Marketing Nottingham, said:
“This announcement is absolutely huge for the tourism and hospitality industry. The reduction in VAT and the introduction of discounts when dining out will truly help to breathe new life back into a sector which has been largely dormant since the start of lockdown.”
“Nottinghamshire’s visitor economy is worth an estimated £1.9bn and employs over 23,000 people, and this radical and positive step will kickstart our visitor economy and protect jobs whilst encouraging consumers to return to doing the things they love most in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. We are fully supportive of this move and we’re confident that it will be a significant step along the road to recovery.”
Richard Johal, Chair of Nottingham Hospitality Association, said:
“We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement today (8th July 2020) protecting jobs in the hard-hit hospitality sector, with a reduced rate of 5% VAT for hospitality, accommodation and attractions. The ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme that will entitle every diner to a 50% discount up to £10 per head on their meal, at participating pubs, restaurants, cafes or food service establishments, will provide a much-needed boost to the industry.”
“We are pleased that Mr Sunak has recognised the vital role the hospitality industry plays in the UK economy as pubs, restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels are the mainstay of the nation’s high streets, employing over 2.4 million workers. Lockdown has taken a heavy toll on this industry and we welcome today’s measures as part of our route to recovery.”
Lucy Stanford, Manager of Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID), commented:
“This is a huge move from the government and I am sure it will be warmly welcomed by the hospitality and leisure industry. We hope local businesses will be in the position to pass on the VAT cut in the form of lower prices to help those whose income has been affected by the virus.”
Ms Stanford went on to say: “The discount scheme is a great idea and will hopefully encourage people to visit Nottingham city centre to try out the vast array of restaurants, cafes and eateries that help to make Nottingham so great.”
Posted on 09 July 2020