UK 2021 Budget: Sunak unveils “full measure of fiscal firepower”

To stimulate investment, there will be a “super deduction” tax for companies that invest in innovation.

Clive Docwra, Managing Director of Real Estate and Construction Consulting Firm McBains, said:“We recognize that the Chancellor’s hands were tied by the scale of the Covid crisis, but – unless there was anything in the fine print in the Red Book – there was little specific announcements for the construction sector as the government has improved reconstruction. ‘his mantra for recovery.

“The tax ‘super-deduction’ may encourage construction companies to invest, while reintroducing 95% of mortgages and extending their availability beyond first-time buyers could trigger a boost in the homebuilding industry. .

“But we are disappointed that it appears that green retrofit programs, such as the Green Homes Grant, have not been renewed, as these programs not only help contribute to net carbon reduction targets, but provide a buoy. rescue to many construction companies in terms of maintenance. contracts. At the macro level, we would also have liked to see a greater commitment to broader green initiatives to help encourage the industry to move towards net zero.

John Webber, Head of Commercial Tariffs at Colliers, said: “The Chancellor has followed through on expectations that he will extend the current commercial tariffs of 100% 2020/2021 for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors for a further three months until the end of June, and then supply until the end of June. ‘at two-thirds of professional rates. vacation for the next nine months.

“Holiday rates for retail, leisure and hospitality are not as straightforward as it sounds. After the first three months, it looks like it will be really hard for businesses to apply and for billing authorities already overburdened with paying.

“While we were already disappointed that the Chancellor postponed the review of business rates until the fall, we hoped that there would be something more to say today – it is disappointing that once again he failed to seize this opportunity. on this issue will have disastrous consequences for many struggling companies in all areas. “

Merilee Karr, President of the UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) and CEO of UnderTheDoormat, said: “We welcome the new £ 5bn restart program, but cannot stress enough the importance that all enterprises in the hotel sector, in particular – catering accommodation sector, are included in this measure. all restrictions are removed – this includes international travel restrictions. We are concerned that short-term rental management companies, which are often not present on the streets, may not be eligible for these grants, despite clearly being hospitality businesses.

“If the government wants the recovery to be uniform across sectors, independent housing providers must be eligible for a subsidy and treated the same as other accommodation providers such as hotels, and not be left out in hotel and retail price classifications. “

Jane Longhurst, managing director of the mia, said: “We welcome the extension of the holidays until the end of September, but the sector will have to contribute to the cost of the hours without work from July, which is well in advance of the return from business meetings and events. at any sustainable level of consecutive activity and income.

“The loss of income for those operating in the sector has been excruciating, and as financial reserves have necessarily been depleted to compensate for restricted income generation, the foundations for making such contributions or simply reopening to familiar capacity are currently not present. not here.

“Based on our research, our members have spent an average of £ 41,113 to ensure their sites are secured by Covid, so we sincerely hope that sites will qualify for the new restart grants of up to 18,000. £ designed to help businesses reopen and start up again. “

Sue Rathmell, indirect tax partner at MHA MacIntyre Hudson, said: The UK hospitality industry breathes a sigh of relief as the cThe minister seems to have listened to his pre-budget requests. In particular, the extension of the 5% VAT rate for the UK hospitality sector for an additional period of six months until the end of September 2021 This is good news for companies in the sector as it will cover the very important summer season. It was even more reassuring to see that in addition, from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, the VAT rate will drop to 12.5% ​​before returning to 20% as of April 1, 2022.

‘With the lockdown easing over the next three months, UK tourism and hospitality businesses are hopeful that this VAT cut will encourage the UK public to stay in the UK this year and pull the plug. making the most of UK resorts and destinations while supporting UK businesses. . They desperately need a good 2021 summer season to help save jobs and consolidate their finances so they can survive the current crisis.

“The growth of the hospitality industry will depend not only on these measures, but also on the successful revitalization of main streets and city centers across the UK – encouraging people to return to cities will support pubs, restaurants, hotels, cinemas and theaters. The Chancellor has devised a package of measures that we hope will help the industry get back on track as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Giles Fuchs, owner of the Burgh Island Hotel, said: “Grants of up to £ 18,000 for struggling hotel businesses are an extremely welcome feature of this budget, given the pressure the industry has exerted since the first foreclosure began almost a year ago.

“Combined with the extension of holiday rates and the reduction in VAT, the introduction of this restart subsidy in April will help the hospitality and tourism sector to finally get back on its feet. Hotel companies will also appreciate the possibility of benefiting from the extension of the absenteeism program until September. And, employing three million people and generating £ 130 billion in economic activity, the sector’s recovery can only be good news for the UK economy as a whole.

At the same time, however, the industry would like support that mends the emotional toll the pandemic has taken on its workers. Many have suffered from loneliness and loss of purpose as well as the financial setbacks of successive lockdowns, so if we are truly to rebuild better we need to ensure that the full impact of Covid-19 be taken into account in the future. “

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