Call for clarity over VAT cut

Shelf of pastries

THE Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called for clarity over Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s temporary VAT cut.

From 15 July to 12 January, VAT will be reduced to 5% for food and non-alcoholic drinks sold from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes and “similar premises across the UK.”  Sunak said the cut would act as a “£4 billion catalyst” for the hospitality and tourism sectors.

Guidance on the full scope of the temporary reduction has not yet been released and it is not clear if and how this will apply to hot-food counters and other food to go services offered by UK convenience stores.

James Lowman, chief executive of the ACS said: “The government needs to provide further clarity on whether local shops with hot food counters will be able to benefit from the VAT cut and ‘eat out to help out’ discount announced during his statement.”

Other measures announced by Sunak include a new ‘jobs retention bonus’. The bonus will be available to employers for every staff member brought back from furlough.

Businesses will be eligible for a £1,000 bonus for each employee they bring back from furlough and keep in employment in January. Staff members must be paid a minimum of £520 per month to be eligible for the bonus.