Our pubs and other hospitality businesses are valuable organisations. They are not just places to eat and drink, but they are also places to meet, to celebrate, and to commiserate.
Many pubs and other hospitality businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fundamental purpose of government is to help overcome challenges that no individual or business can meet alone. Manx hospitality businesses cannot reasonably be expected to prepare for global disasters such as war, earthquakes and pandemics.
That’s why we must support people and businesses which have been disrupted by the pandemic – especially when the Government has cancelled the TT for two years in a row.
Extend the VAT cut
Earlier this year, while working for the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance, I revealed that Isle of Man Government price data shows that the United Kingdom’s Value Added Tax (VAT) cut on hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions led to real benefits for Manx consumers in the second half of 2020. Manx data shows that the price index of restaurants and hotels fell over 4% at the same time as the VAT cut took effect.
The VAT reduction to 5 per cent is scheduled to come to an end in September. After a summer of fun, our pubs and hospitality will need a helping hand to get through winter, especially after a second year of no TT, and no Manx Grand Prix/Classic TT.
That’s why I support the UK government extending the 5 per cent VAT reduction until April 2023.
We need to fully accept the recommendations of the domestic economy review
Recognise the hospitality sector for its contribution to the economy and our quality of life.
Support offered to hospitality businesses should be tailored to their circumstances. Different businesses are in different circumstances and should be supported differently.
We need to provide clear, positive messaging to boost consumer confidence and to stimulate demand for hospitality businesses.
We need to support business adaptation.
We need to respond to the financial hardship that threatens the sector. Cash support is needed until normal trading conditions resume.