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Earlier this year we created a template letter for you to send to your local MP asking for their support in our push to keep VAT permanently low for hospitality. 

Its aim was to open up a conversation about VAT, giving you the chance to explain how a lower rate of VAT will help our industry to survive and thrive while also highlighting the need for a level playing field with other out of home foods and also supermarkets. 

So far we’ve had varying levels of success from those shop owners that have already sent a letter, with some MPs really positive and already open to further discussions. But the overriding message we had back is that many MPs just aren’t aware of how much of a strain VAT puts on prices and livelihoods. Now we’ve put it on their radar, we need them to pass that message higher up the chain of command. 

As we are on the cusp of VAT shifting from 5% to 12.5%, we think it’s the perfect time to pick up the pace and lobby again because it won’t be long before VAT returns to 20%. If we can keep the pressure on now and explain how even keeping VAT at 12.5% will be in everyone’s interests – especially in light of rising inflation, staff wages, labour shortages etc – we might just stand a chance.

Plus, the great news is that we’re not alone. Trade body UKHospitality is already upping its campaign within the wider hospitality industry, applying more pressure with more voices. 

Talking to us on the issue, chief executive of UKHospitality Kate Nicholls, said: “The VAT cut has been a crucial lifeline during the pandemic, allowing tens of thousands of hospitality businesses to keep the lights on when times were toughest. However, the industry is not out of the woods yet and many challenges remain as operators continue to rebuild from the damage of the pandemic. That’s why a permanently low rate of VAT is vital. It will help our favourite pubs, bars and restaurants get back on their feet more quickly, safeguard jobs and keep prices more affordable for customers.”

So, if you’ve not yet written to your MP, now is your chance. And if you have, chase them up. 

You don’t need to be an expert on VAT, we’ve put the letter together for you ready to download here. Do let us know if you get a response.

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