Our Response to the Spring Budget


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.


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