Tax cuts for pubs extended until next year in bid to save UK boozers over winter

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Tax cuts for pubs have been extended until March 2021 in a bid to save UK boozers over winter, it has been confirmed.

VAT was kept at 5% for hospitality and tourism, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.

Mr Sunak said he would extend a cut to value-added tax for hotels, cafes and restaurants until March 31 to support the sectors which are struggling with the effects Covid-19 has had on demand.

Speaking to parliament, he said: "The final step I'm taking today will support two of the most affected sectors, hospitality and tourism.

"On current plans, their VAT rates will increase from 5% back to the standard rate of 20% on January 13.

"So to support more than 150,000 businesses and help protect 2.4 million jobs through the winter, I'm announcing today that we are cancelling the planned increase and will keep the lower 5% VAT rate until March 31 next year."

Mr Sunak delivered his plans in the House of Commons, but Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson was not there to support him as he was visiting police recruits in Northamptonshire.

He said the move will help 150,000 businesses and 2.4 million employees.

The chancellor had previously offered cut price meals at restaurants and pubs in midweek under the 'Eat Out to Help Out' discount as part of a government drive to get Britain's economy booming once again.

Originally the scheme was offered throughout August but its success led to some restaurants such as Toby Carvery, Harvester and Pizza Hut to extend the offer into September.

But speaking on Thursday, the Chancellor told MPs: "The resurgence of the virus, and the measures we need to take in response, pose a threat to our fragile economic recovery."

And he acknowledged "we can't save every business" and "we can't save every job".

  • Pubs
  • Coronavirus
  • Lockdown

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