Fighting For Our City Centre

December 22, 2021 8:34 am

Our Chief Executive,  Russell Greenslade has written to the UK Government urging them to act on fixed VAT and furlough before it’s too late for many businesses.
On behalf of our Swansea Business Improvement District levy payers, we continue to work with other BIDs in Wales hammering home the message to all governments to act now.

Rt. Hon Boris Johnson MP

Prime Minister

Rt. Hon Rishi Sunak MP

Chancellor of the Exchequer

21 December 2021

Dear Prime Minister,
RE: Fixed VAT and Furlough to save our high streets, towns and city centres from extinction

We are writing to you on behalf of 800+ Swansea city centre businesses across retail, hospitality and leisure to urge the UK Government to provide urgent assurances that support will be provided to these sectors in the form of furlough  for a period starting as soon as possible and for the Hospitality sector VAT to be fixed at 12.5 percent until 31 March 2023.

It is imperative that The Government commits to continuing to offer financial assistance and other necessary interventions to those experiencing ongoing disruption following rising cases of the Omicron variant and the impact of further restriction measures. With consumer confidence already dropping amid growing speculation of an impending lockdown, our businesses are facing a bleak Christmas and 2022 and need assurances that they will have some hope of survival.

Businesses, particularly those within the hospitality, retail and leisure sector, are teetering on the brink of financial ruin and are set to lose billions of pounds in sales. While we understand the risks to the NHS posed by the Omicron variant, we should not forget the businesses who have had all but been shut down and want to continue trading safely.

Hospitality is the UK’s third largest sector, employing 3.2million people and it produces £130 billion of economic activity. These sectors are vital to our economic recovery. Many in Wales have already been lost, having ceased trading for good during previous lockdowns. Many others have been unable to retain staff. Freezing the VAT rate  at 12.5 percent until 31 March 2023 would go some way to easing one pressure point for these businesses and implementing furlough would provide some with much needed stability. We hope you will give this matter your urgent attention and we look forward to hearing from you in due course.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

Russell Greenslade – Swansea BID (Business Improvement District) Chief Executive

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