Budget 2021 Response – part 4

Budget 2021 response Lincoln High Street
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The showmen’s trade body

Showmen relieved “the cavalry are coming over the hill” as chancellor freezes fuel duty


Fuel duty has been frozen, as was hoped for and expected: This will benefit everyone; from Showmen with fairs to move; advance billers in each town and customers visiting us – but the increasing area of the LEZ/ULEZ in London and other towns and cities may counteract this.


Philip Paris President Showmen's Guild of Great Britain
Philip Paris President, Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain

The ‘Cavalry are coming over the hill’ to assist Showmen though, with the separate (unannounced by the Chancellor) confirmation that Red Diesel for use on-site (but not on the road) will continue to have the lower tax-duty from April 2022 – this is a great win for everyone after strong lobbying by the Showmen’s Guild with its sister associations and will be of fundamental assistance.


The government released a Policy Paper, in conjunction with the presentation of this week’s Budget by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the House of Commons.

The White Paper entitled ‘reform of red diesel and other rebated fuels entitlement’ describes the introduction of legislative changes through Finance Bill 2021 and subsequent secondary legislation to restrict the entitlement to use red diesel and rebated biofuels from April 2022 to a series of qualifying purposes:

This includes, among six specific uses: “for powering the machinery (including caravans) of travelling fairs and circuses” In a nutshell, this is the outcome of the recent consultation from last summer and previous similar consultations, that everyone on the Fairground and circus industries and communities had both hoped for and had worked hard to achieve.

I am delighted to hear this news on behalf of our 2000 members and 23,000 family members, as well as all those in the wider Fairground and Circus community. We have worked hard in recent years, especially in this last year, even during the pandemic, alongside our colleagues together, from: The Association of Independent Showmen; the Society of Independent Roundabout Proprietors, the Amusement Catering Equipment Society and the Association of Circus Proprietors. We are pleased that the Treasury and the Government listened to our arguments, concerns and our passion for our special entertainment industry, heritage, and way of life and that they understand the value of our travelling entertainment to local communities nationwide.

Following the consultation, the government has decided to grant further entitlement to use red diesel for: The travelling fairground and circus industries when diesel is used for powering their machinery (including their caravans); in addition to three other groups; to add to the previously announced entitlements for agriculture, trains and non-commercial heating.


The innkeepers body

An opportunity to rebuild, but more help will be needed


With the package of support from Government laid out, our pubs can begin to look to the future of their businesses once more.


Steven Alton Chief Executive British Institute of Innkeeping
Steven Alton Chief Executive, British Institute of Innkeeping

The extension of furlough to September will help our pubs to manage the return of their teams until they are able to trade freely again.

The confirmation of further reductions in Business Rates will allow them time to recover, but until our nation’s pubs are able to return to normal trading, the vast majority of these businesses will still be loss making.

The extension of the VAT cut is welcomed, helping food businesses through the summer, however for our community wet-led pubs, the benefit will be extremely limited and they will not be able to trade profitably until all restrictions are removed.

The support announced gives our sector an opportunity to rebuild as they reopen in line with the Government roadmap, however, any changes to their plan will need to be matched with appropriate support measures.


The betting and gaming body

BGC welcome chancellor’s ‘lifeline’ for the UK’s high streets and hospitality businesses



Michael Dugher Chief Executive, Betting and Gaming Council

The BGC has welcomed the Chancellor’s decision to extend the furlough scheme until September, extend business rates relief and introduce grants for hard pressed high street businesses and hospitality.

These steps will help to support the 44,000 people who work in the retail betting shops and land-based casinos.

Since the start of the year, all betting shops and casinos have been required to close without the ability to generate any revenue. The BGC said that even with partial relaxation of restrictions – not expected until 12 April at the earliest for betting shops and 17 May for casinos – many retail, leisure and hospitality businesses would have struggled without additional longer-term support from the Government. The BGC pressed the Government to safely reopen businesses as quickly as possible, data permitting.

The BGC said the added flexibility provided by extending furlough to September will help businesses get back up and running whilst retaining control over their biggest cost, which is staffing.

The decision to extend business rates relief will remove a major financial pressure on businesses that have suffered a significant loss of income during the pandemic.

BGC members in 2020 paid nearly £4 billion in taxes, contributed £350 million to horse racing and £120 million to the UK tourism industry through international visitors and their spend.

Michael Dugher said: “The extension of the furlough scheme and new grants for businesses are strongly welcomed by the tens of thousands of people who work in high street betting shops and land-based casinos. Without the continued support from the Chancellor, many of these businesses would have struggled to survive.

“We have already seen over 5,000 jobs lost and 375 businesses closed since the start of last year.

“The decision to extend the business rates relief will be welcomed by many of our member companies who have not been able to open properly for nearly a year now.

“Our industry will continue to play it’s part in the national effort to combat covid, supporting our local communities, and we look forward to contributing to the economic recovery”.


The directors

Chancellor misses a trick by not helping company directors “left out in the cold”


This Budget delivers a solid platform for many businesses to relaunch as the economy reopens.


Jonathan Geldart Director General, Institute of Directors

Restart grants and ongoing business rates relief give a cashflow boost to many firms that will struggle to make full productive use of their properties as restrictions linger. Widening income support for the self-employed is a step forward, but the Chancellor missed a trick by not providing grants for company directors who continue to be left out in the cold.

The prospect of higher taxes will no doubt bite for many firms that are still tending to wounded balance sheets. Delaying and tiering the corporation tax rise is a pragmatic approach, though adjustments to the plan should remain on the table as a clearer picture of the recovery emerges.

The Treasury should remain prepared to extend support if the roadmap goes off course, whilst building on its stimulus package today to drive long-term growth well beyond our immediate recovery.

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