Backbenchers Demand Extension of Business Rate Relief Scheme
A group of 37 Tory MPs have written to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, calling for an extension of the 75% business rate relief scheme for the hospitality and leisure sector. The scheme, which is worth up to £110,000, is set to expire in April, but the MPs argue that it should be extended to provide continued support.
Intervention Comes as Save Our Sups Campaign Gains Momentum
The MPs' intervention coincides with the Save Our Sups campaign by Trending In The News, which also calls for continued help for the sector going into next year. The campaign also advocates for the freezing of alcohol duties, which has received support from various industry figures.
Concerns Over High Energy Costs and Increasing Wages
Tory MP Matt Vickers highlights the challenges faced by businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector, including high energy costs and increasing wages. He emphasizes the importance of these businesses in the community and their role in job creation, urging the government to extend its support for them.
Fears of Negative Impact if Rates Relief is Removed
A survey by UKHospitality reveals that 66% of businesses would reduce investment, 61% would raise prices, and 41% would reduce opening hours if the rates relief scheme is removed. This highlights the potential negative impact on the sector if support is not extended.
Calls for Alcohol Duty Freeze After Decline in Sales
The wine and spirit industry is also calling on the Chancellor to freeze alcohol duty at the Autumn Statement. Recent data shows a significant decline in sales, with a 20% drop in spirit sales and a double-digit drop for wine following the duty increase on August 1. Industry figures argue that duty rises are counterproductive and negatively impact sales.
Consumers Struggling with Cost of Living Crisis
Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, highlights the cost of living crisis faced by consumers. He argues that the duty increases make it difficult for people to afford life's little luxuries and that reduced sales ultimately lead to less revenue for the government.
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