Bacta has stepped up its campaign to secure further support measures for the amusements industry, calling on the government to reduce MGD for a temporary period.
John White told Coinslot this week that a clear message has been delivered to government. “We need MGD cut to 5 percent,” he noted. “As a system, MGD is focused and collection is relatively straightforward. But the downside for operators is restrictive. If you are not paying VAT you can’t claim it back. And that makes every cost 20 percent higher.”
The MGD call is, White assures, a temporary contingency. “We have said all along that we need help to get us through to next season. Then we should be able to stand on our own two feet.”
While a temporary cut is one that will play more favourably with the Treasury, the procedures do provide a somewhat convenient inconvenient barrier for the chancellor. “It would require a legislative change,” conceded White. But not an insurmountable one he noted: “That’s a well worn path for fiscal changes. It would most likely be part of a budget statement.”
MGD is not the only amendment the industry is calling for as White advised: “It’s not just about MGD. The Chancellor’s VAT cut should apply to all tourism businesses including arcades.”
White has been clear in voicing his disappointment that coastal arcades were not included in proposals to slash VAT on tourism businesses, as unveiled by chancellor Rishi Sunak last Wednesday. The Bacta chief went so far as to say that Sunak’s tax break was “far more circumscribed than the chancellor led us to believe,” in so much as that it only applied to accommodation and the entry price to attractions.
White wants that loophole resolved. “We’re part of the tourism Industry. It would be a targeted boost to a sector that really needs it. And the reason we need both the VAT and the MGD cuts is that some machines pay VAT and some MGD.”