'The VAT cut will probably save some Scarborough businesses': Delight at rescue package for hospitality industry

Scarborough businesses could be saved by the Government’s hospitality rescue package.

Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 3:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 3:11 pm

That is the view of Chairman of South Bay Traders Association John Senior, who has welcomed the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s slashing of VAT on food, accommodation and attractions.

“It’s absolutely fantastic news,” said restaurant owner Mr Senior.

“The VAT cut probably will save some businesses. Some of those that wouldn’t have survived, will now.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Cutting VAT from 20 per cent to five per cent for six months will be a huge boost for many businesses, said Mr Senior, especially those who started the pandemic owing VAT.

He also welcomed the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ voucher scheme announced by the Chancellor last week.

“The vouchers are a bit of a novelty but they’re great,” he said.

“It think we’re all feeling that the chancellor is doing his best for us.”

Mr Senior had thought business would not pick up for several months but he has already been able to bring all his staff back off furlough.

”Scarborough is seemingly doing pretty well,” he said. “It’s doing a lot better than some of the places inland that don’t have the same reasons to visit.

“Even when the weather wasn’t so good last week, people were visiting.

“It all seems to be going in the right direction. People want to come to Scarborough.”

Filey and Malton's MP Kevin Hollinrake, said the Chancellor’s rescue package will provide "a massive boost" to an industry hit hard by the pandemic.

"The VAT cut, which I have been campaigning for, will support hundreds of businesses and protect thousands of jobs whilst providing another incentive for people to take their holidays in North Yorkshire," he said.

"The brand new ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme will encourage people back into our many fabulous restaurants, cafes and pubs by giving them discounted meals from Monday to Wednesday in August.

"Overall, the combination of a job retention bonus and a focus on skills and young people, as well as a stamp duty holiday, is just what is needed to provide businesses with the confidence to retain and hire and give the economy the kickstart it needs."

Vice President of Scarborough Hospitality Association Lynn Jackson described the voucher scheme as “inspired”.

“It will do well for those that sign up for it,” she said.

But she said the VAT cut will not help smaller businesses like her bed and breakfast whose huge drop in income this season may mean they will not be earning enough to pay any VAT this year.

Landlord at The Courtyard pub, Tony Snow, said the scheme will help pubs like his that serve food, along with chains such as Wetherspoons and Harvester.

There are a large number of Scarborough pubs that will not benefit though, he said, and they are the ones that are struggling the most.

“The places that serve food do seem to be the ones who are doing better."

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