pub
Jane Imrie

Marston’s boss calls for permanent VAT reduction across hospitality sector

The boss of UK pub operator Marston’s has urged the government to make VAT reduction permanent for the hospitality industry following the pandemic.

Ralph Findlay, chief executive officer, commented: “We believe that a Government review of the business rates system is long overdue and that VAT reduction should be permanent since the hospitality industry remains one of the most heavily taxed sectors.

“This would assist an industry that has been hit hard and aid hospitality’s employment and development of young workers which will be a key part of the UK’s economic recovery.”

The comments come as the firm announced its results for the 42 weeks to July 24, which saw 88 per cent of sales compared with the same period in 2019.

In the first week of trading since restrictions were lifted on July 19, the group saw a “modest uplift” in sales, but has stated it is too early to identify any long-term trends.

Ralph added: “The last 16 months have been extremely difficult, but we are delighted to be fully open again albeit taking our responsibilities seriously whilst striving to offer our guests a genuine but safe pub experience.

“Pubs are social spaces, and for pubs to prosper we need to be able to offer conviviality, sociability and a place to celebrate which we can now do as of last week.

“That said, there are challenges ahead as the sector starts out on the road to recovery with the immediate short term continuing to be uncertain and operationally disrupted. The tone of Government messaging will be an important influence on consumer confidence. At present, the message is one of caution.

“We believe that a Government review of the business rates system is long overdue and that VAT reduction should be permanent since the hospitality industry remains one of the most heavily taxed sectors.

“This would assist an industry that has been hit hard and aid hospitality’s employment and development of young workers which will be a key part of the UK’s economic recovery.”

Looking to promote your product/service to SME businesses in your region? Find out how Bdaily can help →

Enjoy the read? Get Bdaily delivered.

Sign up to receive our popular morning National email for free.

* Occasional offers & updates from selected Bdaily partners

Our Partners

Top Ten Most Read