Rishi Sunak urged to extend VAT and business rate cuts at budget next month

Rishi Sunak discusses the Spring Budget

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak is being urged to extend VAT and business rate cuts at his budget next month. The TaxPayers’ Alliance said the move would dramatically help the UK’s struggling hospitality and tourism industries. Increasing the business rates holiday and VAT reduction would create tax cuts of £9.4billion and £3.5billion in 2021-22 – a total of £12.9 billion – it is suggested.

The group also wants Mr Sunak to offer a wider recovery package including a respite from tax rises and a revival in jobs and investment.

Chief executive John O’Connell said: “People from across the political spectrum can see that easing the tax burden would help decisively with Britain’s recovery from coronavirus. By doing this, we can get the economy back on track and ready for a new lease of life come this summer.”

Philip Miller, of the Adventure Island amusement park in Southend, Essex – which has already benefited from the reduction – said: “It would make a massive difference to the recovery to keep VAT at five per cent permanently.”

Mel Stride MP, chairman of the Treasury Committee, said: “It’s important he looks at targeting wherever possible in terms of further job support.

“We’d expect the economy to start coming back quite strongly this year, but there will be areas of the economy that are in a better place than others.”

He added that it is not the right time for tax rises to dampen down the economy. But he did say Mr Sunak also has to make clear “the Government is very serious about ultimately bringing down the deficit and getting on top of the public finances”.

The Treasury said it does not speculate on budget measures.

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