The international leader
Blodau pleased “the Chancellor has avoided the temptation to burden the country with immediate tax increases”
SASCHA BLODAU GENERAL MANAGER GAUSELMANN UK
For Gauselmann UK’s General Manager Sascha Blodau, the decision to steer away from tax increases is the biggest plus in the chancellor’s budget this week. The extension of furlough and business rates relief also run very high on his checklist.
In what was one of the most important budgets of recent times we broadly welcome the outcome of what was delivered by Rishi Sunak.
The Treasury was presented with a very difficult task and I believe the mix of pragmatism and long-termism demonstrated an understanding of the pressures that businesses face.
In particular the extension of furlough through to September, albeit with the July taper, recognised that businesses won’t automatically return to pre-pandemic trading and that they will need time to respond to what will be a new dynamic.
Furlough has been a lifesaver for the business community and will continue to protect an untold number of jobs.
As a major investor in the UK with 177 venues in over 140 towns and cities, we are very pleased to see resources being directed to local transport and other projects. Because we have a presence on so many high streets the recovery of local economies is vital.
The extension of Business Rates Relief also removes a substantial overhead. Clearly the huge costs associated with Covid will have to be paid for but we are pleased that the Chancellor has avoided the temptation to burden the country with immediate tax increases and has put the recovery of the economy front and centre stage.
The games developer
Quentin Stott: The supply chain has been woefully supported by the government
QUENTIN STOTT CHIEF EXECUTIVE REFLEX GAMING
Quentin Stott says the supply chain has been left out of the recovery roadmap. The budget offers some scope to help redress this missed opportunity, he believes, but the government must get the grants through to businesses that need help most. Longer term, the tax benefit to invest in new products is one policy that will lift the spirits of the supply chain.
I think the chancellor has listened to the concerns of hospitality and leisure sector, but once again has missed out crucial support for the supply chain. It is now vital that the government sticks to its reopening dates and that all restrictions are removed by 21st June.
The extension of the 5 percent VAT rate was absolutely crucial for hospitality businesses and confirmation that government will provide support for the full year will bring piece of mind to the sector. Again business rates relief for pubs and AGCs is welcome, but once again, the long suffering supply chain has been left out.
Previously announced grants are a welcome boost but these must find their way to businesses that need them as quickly as possible. The furlough extension brings some stability and piece of mind to both businesses and employees alike, and many supply chain businesses will follow in the wake of the reopening of hospitality and leisure, therefore still have many months to run before sales restart.
The commitment to encourage investment with 130 percent tax relief is great to see from government. Businesses have been weakened financially through the pandemic and this incentive for our customers to invest in new equipment is a strong positive.
The leisure trade body
Keeping the pressure up for those at the end of the reopening queue
PAUL KELLY CHIEF EXECUTIVE BALPPA
I think our major concerns would be with those member businesses that are later down the road to re opening.
These businesses have exhausted all of their reserves and cannot afford to borrow any more money.
We will be lobbying for more support to those businesses to get them open.
We welcome the furlough extension and the reduced VAT but this doesn’t help the closed businesses.
I am sure we will take the positive energy from the budget and the road map but we want all leisure businesses’ to be able to take advantage of what could be a great Summer.
The hospitality trade body
Delay will make the job of survival “all the more difficult for businesses only just clinging onto existence”
KATE NICHOLLS CHIEF EXECUTIVE UKHOSPITALITY
The Chancellor has listened to the concerns of the hospitality sector. Details are yet to be pored over but it looks like crucial support will help businesses at a critical time.
The biggest gap in support remains the outstanding sector rent debt. We need the Government to announce an extension of the moratoria at the earliest opportunity and work with industry to establish a landing zone to resolve this £2bn millstone around our recovery.
Now it is vital that the Government sticks to its date of June 21st for a full reopening of the sector. Delay would see more businesses fail, more jobs lost and undo much of the good work the Chancellor has done to date.
ON VAT: “An extension of the 5 percent VAT rate was absolutely crucial for hospitality businesses. Confirmation that the Government will provide support for a full year will bring peace of mind to the sector. UKHospitality has been pushing hard for this and it was critical that it was delivered today.
“While it would have been better to have extended the 5 percent rate further, it is now vital that the Government looks at introducing the interim rate for hospitality on a permanent basis. It would be a positive legacy of an otherwise dreadful year for our sector. A permanent reduced rate of VAT for hospitality would redress the unfair tax imbalance that our businesses have faced for too long and make us internationally competitive.
ON BUSINESS RATES: “It is great that this fixed cost has been eliminated during the recovery and is heavily reduced for the rest of the financial year. It will give some much-needed breathing room for businesses as they prepare to reopen, though the cap will impact some larger businesses. Not all businesses will be able to reopen swiftly, it will take them time to get up and running. They will be burning through meagre cash reserves as they do so, so this extra flexibility is going to crucial in ensuring as many as possible stay alive.
“The forthcoming revamp of the rates system then has to deliver a wholly new system of business tax that no longer unfairly penalises our sector.
ON GRANTS: “The previously announced grants are a welcome boost. The priority now is making sure that these grants find their way to the businesses that need them as quickly as possible and that interest rates are capped. It is critical that Government makes clear that EU State Aid rules do not apply to these grants.”
ON FURLOUGH: “The extension of the scheme brings stability and peace of mind to employees after a dreadful year of uncertainty. There is still a worry that it will place unnecessary pressure on fragile businesses just as they are beginning to get back to their feet, though.”
ON DUTY: “Scrapping any increase on the rate of alcohol duty is a pragmatic step. Additional costs were the last thing that businesses needed at the minute. As we emerge from the crisis, we hope that the Government will seriously consider a separate rate, long pushed for by this sector, for on-trade alcohol.”
ON THE RECRUITMENT BONUS: “Increasing the recruitment incentive will be a major boost in helping the hospitality sector rebuild once the crisis has passed. The doubling of the apprenticeship incentive will be a major boost for our sector’s recovery and aids our commitment to upskilling people across the country. Driving the economic recovery of the UK will be dependent on getting people back into work and this will be a huge help. The hospitality sector is going to be a key weapon in the country’s arsenal if it wants to rebuild the economy and tackle unemployment.”
ON INVESTMENT RELIEF: “The commitment to encourage investment, with 130 percent tax reliefs, is very encouraging as we re-build and re-generate high streets and local communities.”
ON RENTS: “The biggest gap in support remains the outstanding sector rent debt. We need the Government to announce an extension of the moratoria at the earliest opportunity and work with industry to establish a landing zone to resolve this £2bn millstone around our recovery.”