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VAT: Tourism and Hospitality

Volume 682: debated on Tuesday 20 October 2020

What recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of the temporary changes in VAT on businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors. (907765)

The temporary reduced rate for the tourism and hospitality sectors came into effect on 15 July 2020 and is helping to support the cash flow and viability of over 150,000 businesses and to protect 2.4 million jobs across the UK. On 24 September, the Government announced that they will extend the temporary reduced rate so that it now ends on 31 March 2021.

We all want to see a sensible solution to the debate over the covid restrictions in Greater Manchester, but a move from tier 2 will mean the hospitality sector in Cheadle faces the additional blow of tier 3 restrictions, and while reduced VAT in recent months is welcome, businesses in tier 3 will be unable to benefit from the extended scheme. Therefore, in addition to the comprehensive support package, will the Minister consider extending the reduced VAT scheme further in areas that go into tier 3, so that they can do business on that basis for as long as businesses in other parts of the country?

As my hon. Friend will know, it has already been extended and she will also be aware that we have put in place a scheme for people who have VAT debt, to allow a payment process that fits their schedule. As the Chancellor has said, to support local authorities at very high alert and to protect public health and local economies, an additional £5 a head, £8 in total, has been made available. That means we have committed up to £465 million in funding for English local authorities through the tiering scheme, and we will announce further details of the eligible expenditures under this scheme.