Caterer, Licensee & Hotelier
ONCE AGAIN, I would like to welcome new readers to our publication CLH News! As previously explained we are free-to-trade publication, and we have extended our readership to reach more independent hospitality businesses - please see the inside back cover (page 39) for further details The Chancellor’s decision to grant a £1000 business rate discount for the majority of pubs in the UK is a welcome move. However, as Ufi Ibrahim, the chief EDITOR executive of the BHA, said, some small hospitality businesses, facing an average 23% rates increase, will be forced out of business. In addition the hike in alcohol duty will cancel out any headline grabbing relief on business rates with the Chancellor effectively robbing ‘Peter to pay Paul’. I have to say, I could not agree more! Some of the reports that I read “pubs are among the big winners as Chancellor boosts business rate relief”, so there you are, “big winners”! How does it feel? When you look at it plain and simple, the same Chancellor announced significant rate increases which, according to reports will cripple many businesses, in particular pubs, so the same Chancellor has announced a relief, but at the same time has increased duty on beer, cider wine and spirits. A CAMRA spokesman said: “The announced two penny a pint increase marks a return to the days when the much-hated Beer Duty Escalator contributed to 75,000 job losses, 3,700 pub closures and a 24% fall in beer sales in pubs. The rise in beer duty will ultimately hit consumers in their pockets and lead to pub closures across the country. “The government’s U-turn on beer duty is a real missed opportunity to support consumers. The UK still pays one of the highest rates of duty across Europe, only consuming around 12% of the beer yet paying nearly 40% of all beer duty in the EU. Further beer duty increases will lead to unsustainable price increases in pubs. The decision completely ignores the pressures that are being faced by the beer and pub sectors. Again, I could not agree more, I think it is that he of the budget glossed over by an announcement of granting relief this more pubs, but at the same time hitting them with increased costs! Furthermore, budgets like this make the campaign for reducing VAT in tourism, appear like nothing but a distant dream. The letter sent to the Chancellor by the campaign to cut tourism VAT, and which can be seen here, (www.cuttourismvat.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Cut-Tourism-VAT-BudgetSubmission-210217.pdf) certainly fell on deaf ears, there was no reference to tourism VAT whatsoever. The letter highlights that a reduction in tourism VAT would create over 121,000 extra jobs over the next 10 years and improve the UK's balance of trade by £23 billion. The letter goes on to highlight that 31 countries across Europe have already introduced reductions in tourism VAT and are reaping the benefits. A cut is backed by trade organisations and 170 MPs across all parties. If you haven’t already, I would urge you to click on the link and read the letter and join the campaign to cut tourism VAT. The website is here www.cuttourismvat.co.uk And it literally takes two steps to join the campaign! And if successful would make a hugely positive influence on the UK tourist industry. I would also take this opportunity to urge our readers old and new to sign up on our website newsletter at www.catererlicensee.com for all the latest news and views on a daily basis, tips and hints which we hope will make your life a little easier, for instance, I would draw your attention to the section on our website which has free posters for various functions, events and celebratory days at www.catererlicensee.com/posters-for-special-events So if you’re making preparations for Mother’s Day we have some posters on our website which can help you raise the profile, and hopefully help “pack ‘em in”!
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