Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Nick Varney responds to cut in tourism VAT

As part of the UK government’s £30bn plan to save jobs, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a VAT cut to 5% for accommodation and attractions – from 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021.  The reduced (5%) rate of VAT will apply to supplies of accommodation and admission to attractions across the UK. Further guidance on the scope of this relief will be published by HMRC in the coming days.

There will also be a temporary cut in VAT to 5% for food and non-alcoholic drinks – which will apply to supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar premises across the UK.

Commenting on the news, Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainments said: “We have been campaigning for a cut in tourism VAT for almost twenty years. Over the long term we believe it will deliver cheaper UK holidays for residents and attract more overseas visitors, boosting our export earnings. In the short term the cut to 5% announced today will enable hard pressed tourism and hospitality businesses to recover some of their losses from three months of closure and the impact of reduced capacity for the rest of the year. It is therefore a very welcome step and we would urge the Government to retain it in order to reap the long- term benefits for all.”

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