The Jacques Borel VAT club has released a template letter to encourage restauranteurs and licensees to lobby their local MP over existing VAT rates in the industry. The letter is available on the Jacques Borel website, and was released in response to a number of requests from operators seeking guidance on how to frame their local lobbying.
Borel said: “It is clear that operators want to undertake their own local lobbying so the letter is aimed at guiding them on the issues that should be drawn to the attention of their local MP.”
The letter states: “I write to ask for your support for a cut in VAT from 20% to 5% in restaurants, pubs, bars, and hotels. At the moment, there is a significant disparity between the zero rate of VAT on food and beverage sales in supermarkets and the 20% VAT rate for sales in pubs and restaurants.
“On Wednesday 25th September 2013, the VAT Club Jacques Borel organised Tax Parity Day and on Wednesday 24th September 2014 VAT Club Jacques Borel will be repeating this day of action. Tax Parity Day last year was an outstanding success with some 15,000 outlets joining in to support the campaign to secure a fair and equitable VAT rate for hospitality services in the UK. The pubs and restaurants taking part saw an average increase of 20% in their sales and it proved how popular a VAT cut would be and how it would be benefit the local businesses involved.
“Hospitality services support over two million jobs in the UK and are highly price-sensitive. A reduction in VAT would feed through to lower prices, stimulating demand and creating a significant number of new jobs, particularly for young people seeking their first step on the employment ladder. It would help to sustain local communities and regenerate town centres.
“The difference that currently exists between the VAT treatment of supermarket sales compared to sales of food and beverages in pubs, restaurants and hotels is simply unfair and something has to be done about it.”
The Jacques Borel VAT Club has also produced a QR Code that allows operators to easily download the letter.