Caroline Pidgeon has joined Liberal Democrats mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita, and Lib Dem councillors from around London, to ask the Chancellor to temporarily cut VAT on restaurant food to 10%, as restaurants deal with the huge damage the pandemic has done to their businesses.
In her letter to the Chancellor, Caroline says:
Today, to survive the COVID-19 crisis, many restaurants have converted to takeaway establishments, which will cost them more money, as very little VAT can be recovered, despite still having to pay 20%. Furthermore, many are also incurring huge costs for adaptations to their premises and will also need additional staff to ensure rigorous COVID-compliant hygiene regimes are followed.
Reducing VAT to 10%, for example, would ultimately mean the survival of some restaurants that were successful before the pandemic. We know it would make good business sense for a short-term reduction of VAT, which would make such a huge difference in sustaining businesses at risk and would boost the economy.
The Liberal Democrats have recognised the Government’s attempt to support businesses but will continue to work constructively to highlight areas of weakness such as this.