CEOs call on chancellor to back hospitality

New letter calls on the government to extend VAT cut and rates holiday, and provide decisive package of financial support in next month’s budget.

Over 160 CEOs from the UK’s leading hospitality businesses have written to the chancellor ahead of next month’s budget.

They call for decisive support to help the sector survive, rebuild and drive the economic recovery of the country as it emerges from the Covid-19 crisis.

The letter, co-ordinated by trade body UKHospitality, highlights two key areas of government support that the sector says must be delivered for it to play a key role in rebuilding the economy, and to help drive investment and provide jobs.

These are:

  • An extension of the 5% rate of VAT for hospitality for another year, expanded to the wider sector
  • The continuation of the business rates holiday for hospitality for the whole of 2021/22, giving businesses valuable breathing room to rebuild and address rent debt.

Additionally, the letter calls on the government to provide a decisive package of fundamental support, including extension of the furlough scheme, improved loan repayment terms to increase liquidity, deferral of government-owed debt and replacement of the Job Retention Bonus.

The letter from the leaders follows the communication over the weekend from many of the same CEOs, who have told government that they are stepping back from talks with business ministers, following “obvious lack of interest and respect”.