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VAT cut is to help businesses not holidaymakers in the Duchy

VAT cut is to help businesses not holidaymakers in the Duchy

Published by Helen Down at 3:50pm 10th July 2020. (Updated at 3:54pm 10th July 2020)

By: Local Democracy  Reporter Richard Whitehouse

Holidaymakers have been told that the Government’s VAT cut for the hospitality sector is aimed to help businesses not reduce the cost for tourists.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yesterday in his mini budget that he was cutting VAT from 20% to 5% for hospitality and tourism businesses.

The reduction was aimed to help businesses which have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and were only able to open last weekend.

But it was revealed that shortly after the announcement some tourism businesses in Cornwall had calls from customers asking for a reduction in their bill to reflect the cut in VAT.

Visit Cornwall chief executive Malcolm Bell stressed that the VAT cut was to help businesses and not tourists.

“The VAT cut is to support the businesses. This is encouraging businesses to save – they (the government) will return the 15% to help them.

“But what has already happened is people phoning and asking for 15% off their booking. This is a business support measure not for customers.

“My message to customers is this is to help the businesses, not to reduce the cost of their holiday. It is only a temporary relaxation up to January.”

Visit Cornwall chief executive Malcolm Bell

The Chancellor also announced a new “eat out to help out” scheme which will give people 50% off meals out, up to a maximum of £10 a head, on Mondays to Wednesdays in August.

Mr Bell said that it was a welcome measure and will help to encourage more people to visit local restaurants and pubs.

Cornwall councillor Rob Nolan said that he hoped the scheme would lead to people “flocking to restaurants”.

"Prior to last weekend I had not intended to visit pubs but said after going on a walkabout in Truro with council officers and police I had been reassured that it was safe to go out.

“We went around and found that they (pubs and restaurants) were bending over backwards, they have really stepped up, they have their one-way systems in operation, taking contact details from customers and ensuring social distancing.

“They are anxious and they are opening for the first time and welcoming customers in.  Before I was going out I said that I wouldn’t be going out to the pub but after (the walkaround) I was quite tempted.”

"The council would be continuing follow-up visits in towns across Cornwall to ensure that all guidelines are being followed by businesses.

Cornwall councillor Rob Nolan

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