NCASS Taking a Stand For You.

We’re empowering independent hospitality and making sure your business gets heard.

Spring Budget Statement 06/03/24

We are deeply disappointed that the Chancellor has not listened to the tens of thousands of people across the country who have contributed to the overall campaign to lower VAT for the hospitality industry.  

Despite widespread calls to reduce VAT to alleviate the financial strain on businesses in this sector, the government’s decision to ignore this crucial measure is disheartening to say the least.  

As you know we have been campaigning for:  

  • Lower VAT for small and micro independent hospitality businesses 
  • A significant change in the VAT threshold  
  • A smoothing mechanism to make VAT fairer 

The hospitality industry has been among the hardest hit by the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic and the proceeding, increased inflation, increased energy costs, increased food costs which has culminated in both the cost of living and the cost of operation crises. 

A reduction in VAT would have provided much-needed relief, enabling businesses to reinvest in their operations, retain staff, and ultimately contribute to the broader economic recovery. 

The omission of this measure from the Spring Budget represents a missed opportunity to support the thousands of businesses and millions of workers who rely on the hospitality sector for their livelihoods. Without targeted assistance, many businesses will continue to struggle, putting jobs at risk and jeopardising the long-term viability of the industry. 

The measures that were announced, namely the alcohol duty freeze extension and the VAT threshold rise to £90k / year does little to help the sector – in fact, we believe that the effect will be negligible. Whilst we welcome an increase in the VAT threshold, a £5k increase is completely insufficient to support the short-term requirements to help kick start the hospitality sector and the economy.  

We believe that the disconnect between micro businesses in the hospitality sector and the government has further widened between the last autumn statement and today’s spring budget. Which leads us to believe that the sector and all that it contributes to the economy and the country has not been heard.  

Independent hospitality businesses make our villages, towns, cities, events and festivals what they are. They shape the essence of our communities and they are the heartbeat of hospitality and morale will be severely dampened by today’s news.  

If the government genuinely understood entrepreneurship and valued the relentless efforts of business owners operating in this exceedingly challenging environment, we believe we would have witnessed a shift today, or at the very least, plans to initiate change in the near future. With an impending election this year it is crucial to persist in advocating for the needs of our industry.  

We urge the government to reconsider its stance and take immediate action to support the hospitality industry. A reduction in VAT would not only provide immediate relief but also stimulate consumer spending, boost economic activity, and accelerate the road to recovery. 

As we navigate these unprecedented challenges, it is imperative that the government listens to the voices of businesses and acts decisively to support those most in need. We stand ready to work collaboratively with policymakers to assure the vitality and resilience of the hospitality sector for years to come. 

We must continue to make sure your voices are heard. Please reach out to your elected MP regarding the essential changes that are needed, we must persist in highlighting these requirements to ensure that the government and elected MPs repeatedly hear and get the message. We will continue to campaign and engage with the government, advising them to reassess their stance on the solutions we have put forward time and time again.   

So far hundreds of you have responded to our survey – a huge thank you to everyone who has taken part already.

Alongside the survey, we have created two template letters for you. One is for you to write to your MP, and the other is for your customers to write to their MP addressing the necessary support and changes our sector needs.

Furthermore, there is a third template letter that you can send to your customers which explains the situation and encourages them to write to their MP.  This could be used in your mailers or even printed out and displayed.

Please use the MP templates and encourage others to do so too, take part in the survey and write to us to tell us what you need right now. Together, we can make a difference.

Thank you for all that you do, you make our villages, towns, cities, events and festivals what they are, you shape the essence of our communities and you are the heartbeat of hospitality.

Social Assets

Posting about your engagement with the campaign may bring other people onboard and encourage more to write to their MPs and ultimately just give us a better chance of making enough noise to be heard.

We have created a series of social assets for you to use so you can show your engagement and help to spread the word about the campaign – save these assets for free here (right click > save images as).


We need to gather as much data as possible regarding how the cost of operating crisis is continuing to affect your business and so we are asking you to please share your input and take our campaign survey. The information we gather will enable us to showcase to the government the genuine challenges businesses are confronting, arming us to advocate for the necessary change. Your input is absolutely invaluable!

Please take a few minutes to fill in our survey, your time and support is so important and appreciated.



We have put together three template letters for you. One is for you to write to your MP, and the other is for your customers to also write to their MP regarding the support and the changes our sector needs.

There is a third template letter that you can send to your customers to encourage them to write to their MP that you can use in your mailers or even print out and display. 

Sending a letter to your local MP will give this campaign a massive boost – the more MPs we can collectively reach out to and make aware of this campaign, the greater chance we have of progress being made.

To find your local MP:

Go to this Government webpage – Find your MP – MPs and Lords – UK Parliament – and search via your postcode.

Here you will find who you need to contact and the email address to send your letter to.

So once you have the details of your local MP, you just need to copy and paste the template letter below, edit the bracketed sections in bold to add your personal insights and information, and send the email.

Be sure to add [email protected] via cc so we can continue to compile evidence for government that tax reform is needed.

Template letter one: For you to send to your MP 

View Word Doc and Download

Template letter two: For your customers to send to their MPs

View Word Doc and Download

Template letter three: To explain why you would like your customers to write to their MPs (feel free to adjust this letter to your style)

View Word Doc and Download


We are calling on you to share your current challenges and experiences so that we can expand on the work we are doing in order to make the case for what you need to government and others.

We need you to tell us: 

  • Has inflation taken you over the VAT threshold?
  • How is VAT impacting your business?
  • Has your cost of operating increased and how are you managing it?
  • What are your views on hot food VAT?

Feeding this information into NCASS will help us to prioritise where members most need support and what any help might look like. Both data and personal experiences – your experiences help us to make the case on your behalf.

Your views are vital  – share them with us by writing to:  [email protected]


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