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Wed 8th Jul 2020 - Operators react as chancellor announces VAT cut and voucher initiative
Operators react as chancellor announces VAT cut and voucher initiative: Operators have hailed chancellor Rishi Sunak’s decision to cut VAT from 20% to 5% on food, accommodation and attractions for six months and launch a vouchers initiative to encourage people to eat out in August as a “really strong package of measures”. The chancellor said VAT would reduce from next Wednesday (15 July) until 12 January. He added the voucher initiative would enable businesses to claim back money through the scheme weekly, with funds arriving in their bank accounts within five days. Sunak said: “We’re reducing VAT to 5% for goods and services supplied by the tourism and hospitality sectors. This is a £4bn catalyst benefiting more than 150,000 businesses and consumers everywhere – all helping to protect 2.4 million jobs. To support restaurants and the people who work in them, we’re saying ‘Eat Out To Help Out’. For the month of August we’ll give you a 50% reduction, up to £10 per head, on sit-down meals and non-alcoholic drinks, Monday to Wednesday.” The chancellor also announced a new “jobs retention bonus”, explaining if an employer brought back someone who had been furloughed and continued to employ them until January, the government would pay them a £1,000 bonus. He said: “The employee must be paid £520 each month through to January. This would be a £9bn policy to retain people in work. If you stand by your workers, we’ll stand by you.” He also said the government would pay employers £1,000 to take on trainees, while it would provide £100m to create places on Level 2 and 3 courses. He also pledged companies £2,000 each to encourage them to hire apprentices, with companies also receiving £1,500 to cover apprentices aged over 25. The chancellor said his Kickstart Scheme would directly pay employers to create jobs for any 16 to 24-year-olds at risk of long-term unemployment. He said: “These will be decent jobs, with a minimum of 25 hours per week and paying at least the National Minimum Wage. I urge every employer, big or small, to hire as many kick-starters as possible.” UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls tweeted: “This is a really strong package of measures to support the hospitality and tourism sector – the engine of economic growth and job creation since the last financial crash. This will help maintain hospitality’s role in generating one in six of net new jobs and youth employment. A bridge to bring people back and subsidise new jobs.” British Institute of Innkeeping chief executive Steve Alton said: “Encouraging news from the chancellor to get customers back to our pubs. We will continue to push the government for further essential business support to ensure our pubs can survive in the short term and on the longer road to recovery.” Tim Foster, co-founder of Yummy Pub Co, tweeted: “Come on! This is what we need.” Peter Borg-Neal, chief executive of Oakman Inns and Restaurants, said: Brilliant stuff Rishi Sunak – thank you.”

Sponsored message – Airship track and trace solution driving valuable customer data and visitor confidence: Whichever way you look at it, the government guidance on track and trace brings many positives to the hospitality sector. Not only does it reassure customers your business is taking its obligations seriously, it is also a golden opportunity to collect valuable customer data. During the past few days Airship have seen more than 17,000 check-ins, with 28% of customers opting in to receive further marketing. Customers are clearly happy to have the option to receive marketing from businesses they frequent. On Friday, Airship launched its visitor track and trace solution with Pret A Manger in 90 minutes across 400-plus locations. The simplicity of the solution for operators and customers alike offers peace of mind and demonstrates the new guidance need not be onerous or intrusive. Sam Brown, sales director at Airship, said: “I joined Airship on 1 July and by 3 July we counted Leon, Roadchef, Pret A Manger, AB InBev and Camden Town Brewery as customers. The industry’s ability to rise to this guidance alongside all the other requirements has been amazing.” Yesterday, Airship rolled out tools for operators to get involved in the Yumpingo/UKHospitality initiative to drive survey data through to CGA for further analysis. Dan Brookman, Airship chief executive, said: “It would be incredible if this was adopted across the country by other sectors, particularly retail. As a nation we’d be far better prepared for a postcode lock-down like we are seeing in Melbourne to hold off a massive second spike, which would be a catastrophe for everyone.” For more information, click here or email sam.brown@airship.co.uk. If you have information you would like to feature in a sponsored message, email paul.charity@propelinfo.com
Airship is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

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