VAT cut for UK hospitality excludes alcohol

The UK chancellor has excluded alcohol from a six-month VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism sectors. Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed a number of new measures yesterday (8 July) to help restart the nation’s economy during the coronavirus pandemic. Sunak will cut the rate of value added tax (VAT) on hospitality and tourism from 20% to 5% from 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021. The cut, which excludes alcoholic drinks, will apply to food and…

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Furlough flexibility welcome but more support needed

Trade body UK Hospitality has welcomed the UK government’s move to increase flexibility of the furlough scheme from July when parts of the on-trade will hopefully be allowed to reopen. The UK’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was due to end in July, but was extended to October. Under the scheme, which was announced on 20 March, the government pays for 80% of wages for employees who are not working, up to £2,500 (US$2,900) a month.…

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Furlough extension welcome but rent must be new priority

Leading industry figures have welcomed UK chancellor Rishi Sunak’s extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme but warned two million jobs remain at risk without a solution to rent payments. The UK government’s furlough scheme was due to end in July, but has now been extended to October. The founder of Milk & Honey in Soho, London, and Hospitality Union, Jonathan Downey, took to Twitter to reiterate the message of his #NationalTimeOut initiative. In a…

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Small firms eligible for 100% government-backed loans

The UK government has unveiled new support for the nation’s smallest businesses under which they will be able to access 100% government-backed loans of up to £50,000 (US$62,000), but trade bodies argue ministers could have gone further. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the new fast-track Bounce Back Loan scheme yesterday (27 April), which will allow businesses to borrow between £2,000 (US$2,490) and £50,000, and access the money in a matter of days. It has been designed…

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UK govt to pay wages as on-trade ordered to close

The UK government will pay 80% of wages for employees who are not working, up to £2,500 (US$2,900) a month, as on-trade venues and shops nationwide are ordered to close from tonight (20 March). UK chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed “unprecedented measures” to help those whose jobs are at risk through the coronavirus job retention scheme. The scheme will offer grants to any employer in the UK and will cover the cost of wages backdated to…

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