Eat out to help out and VAT cut

Government announce schemes to help hospitality

VAT cut and Eat Out to Help Out Scheme was launched today by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his summer budget to help the hospitality industry in the UK.

In his speech to Parliament  he said

“….protect jobs that already exist by helping some of our highest-employing but hardest-hit sectors: hospitality and tourism.

Our economy relies on consumption, especially social consumption:

The pubs, cafes, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs that bring life to our villages, towns and cities.

Taken together these sectors employ over 2 million people disproportionately younger, women and people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

And many rural and coastal communities rely on these industries.

80% of hospitality firms temporarily stopped trading in April and 1.4 million workers have been furloughed, the highest proportions of any sector.

So the best jobs programme we can do is to restart these sectors and get our pubs, restaurants, cafés and B&Bs bustling again.

I know people are cautious about going out.

But we wouldn’t have lifted the restrictions if we didn’t think we could do so safely.

And I’ve seen in the last few weeks how hard businesses are working to make their premises safe.

And if we follow the guidance, and respect what they ask us to do, we can all enjoy summer safely.

In turn, we need to give these businesses the confidence to know that if they open up, invest in making their premises safe, and protect jobs, demand will be there, and be there quickly.

So today, I’m announcing two new measures to get these sectors moving and protect jobs.”

eating out dining table image

The first initiative is to cut VAT on hospitality and tourism from 20% to 5%.  For the next six months VAT on food, accommodation and attractions; eat-in or hot takeaway food from restaurants, cafes and pubs; accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites; attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos; will see VAT reduced from next Wednesday until January 12th, from 20% to 5%.

The second initiative is an  ‘eat out to help out’ initiative is entitling customers money off of up to £10 per head when they eat out from Monday to Wednesday in August.

The Chancellor said:

‘Meals eaten at any participating business will be 50% off up to a maximum discount of £10 per head for everyone, including children. We can all eat out to help out.’

This will entitle every diner to a 50% discount of up to £10 per head on their meal, at any participating restaurant, café, pub or other eligible food service establishment. The discount can be used unlimited times and will be valid Monday to Wednesday on any eat-in meal (including on non-alcoholic drinks) for the entire month of August 2020 across the UK. Participating establishments will be fully reimbursed for the 50% discount.

Will this be enough to save the hospitality industry?  Will it encourage you to visit restaurants etc?

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