Lockhart Calls on HMG to Lower VAT for Hospitality Businesses

The DUP’s Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has called on the Treasury to lower the VAT rate for hospitality businesses in Northern Ireland. This move, she argues, is crucial to support an industry that is still recovering from the impact of COVID-19 as well as dealing with current economic challenges, leading to growing uncertainty in the sector.

By Carla Lockhart Candidate

Upper Bann

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There is strong backing for this measure within the industry itself. A recent survey by Hospitality Ulster revealed that a resounding 93% of its members support the lowering of VAT. This overwhelming consensus underscores the pressing need for government intervention to provide relief and stimulate recovery in the sector.

Carla Lockhart said,

"The hospitality industry is a cornerstone of our economy, providing jobs, supporting local suppliers and delivering top-quality services across Northern Ireland. Yet, it is facing unprecedented challenges that threaten the survival of many businesses. The Government must act now to reduce the VAT rate for these businesses, providing them with the breathing space they need to recover and thrive.

The urgency of this call to action is further emphasised by the concerning low levels of optimism among hospitality businesses. Only 16% of Hospitality Ulster members reported feeling optimistic about the future of their businesses. This stark statistic highlights the fragility of the sector and the need for decisive Government support.

With such a low percentage of businesses feeling optimistic, it is clear that without intervention, we risk losing many beloved local establishments. Lowering VAT will not only help these businesses stay afloat but also preserve jobs and maintain the fabric of our communities.

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