As it happened – the Budget 2021: Details and reaction
‘There were many disappointing omissions from this budget’ – York pubs campaigner
The Campaign for Pubs was co-founded by Paul Crossman, licensee of The Swan, The Slip Inn and Volunteer Arms in York.
After today’s budget, the Campaign called the support measures disappointing, which were not enough to save many pubs.
Paul said: “There were many disappointing omissions from this budget.
“While we welcome measures such as income support for the newly self-employed who were unfairly excluded from previous schemes, we note that directors of limited companies, which will include a great many small pub businesses, and the nation’s small breweries, have still been left out.
“Further grants are welcome, but the restart grants that have been announced will simply be insufficient to enable most pubs to even cover ongoing fixed costs while closed, let alone enable them to restock and reopen.
“Even the furlough scheme, while great for our staff, will continue to carry a cost for struggling publicans, as we will continue to have to find NI and pension payments and to cover holiday entitlement in order to protect jobs.
“The offer of more loans will not appeal to businesses who are already extremely worried about escalating debt.
“This is especially the case for those still facing unreasonable rent demands, which is something the Chancellor failed to address at all, a worry which is compounded by the fact that we were not given the extra full year of business rates relief that we were hoping for.”
You can read the Campaign’s full analysis of the Budget here.
Budget reaction: ‘This will relieve some pressure on small businesses’ – Indie York
The new chair of Indie York, Rebecca Hill, said the measures in the budget will help the city’s independent business – but it will still be a challenging few months.
“The extension of the business rates holiday, and then the two-thirds discount after that, is a very welcome result from today’s budget announcement, as this will relieve some pressure as businesses work hard to re-open over the next few months,” she said.
“There was widespread hope that the 100% business rates holiday night be extended to the end of the year, rather than only until the end of June.
“But York’s independent businesses are nothing if not resilient, and will continue to serve the local community as they have done throughout the pandemic.
“The extension of the furlough scheme is a relief, and the VAT cut for hospitality is also a huge help for our hotel and restaurant members.
“There is no doubt that this will continue to be a challenging time for many, especially independent business owners who have adapted and diversified throughout this pandemic.
“Sixty-five per cent of businesses in York are independently owned, and we believe that this is a huge part of what makes York special and unique, so our goal as Indie York is to promote these businesses as much as possible.
“Of course the government support is a huge help, but we will continue to ask York’s residents to shop local as much as possible, and also to support our members in other ways as much as they can.
“Follow them on social media, like their posts, recommend them to friends, or write a review – it really does mean the world to our members, and helps to keep up morale during these still very challenging times.”
Video: This will ‘kickstart York’s tourism and hospitality business’
Phil Pinder is not only chair of the York Retail Forum (see earlier) he is the co-owner of The Potions Cauldron shop on Shambles, and about to launch a new leisure business – Coppergate’s mini golf attraction The Hole In Wand.
So he has a lot invested in the success of the retail and hospitality sector in York.
“On the whole it’s very good news,” he said of today’s budget. The extension of the business rates holiday till June, plus a further nine months at two-thirds the rate is “really welcome”.
The VAT threshold staying at £84,000 was less good news, but the 5% reduced VAT rate “which will kickstart our tourism and hospitality business”.
He described the reopening grants as “quite generous”.
“All we need now is to get back to normal and get back up and running.”
Budget reaction: ‘A positive outcome for retail and hospitality’ – the York BID
Andrew Lowson, executive director of the York BID (Business Improvement District) said there were a lot of positives in today’s Budget.
“In general, businesses will be pleased with the announcement.
“It looks like hospitality in particular has been thought about, with the support they are looking to put in place.
“It is a positive outcome particularly for businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors, of which we have so many in York city centre.”
The Chancellor announced the business rates holiday for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will continue until the end of June, and will be discounted by two thirds for the remaining nine months of the year.
Andrew thought many businesses would have liked that holiday to extend through the year. “When you speak to businesses, rent and rates are still the two big expenses they talk about.”
And the decision to increase the rate of corporation tax, paid on company profits, to 25% in April 2023 “shows when we will have to start paying all this back”.
Budget reaction: ‘Disappointed on VAT but generally the support is very welcome’ – Shaun Collinge, York publican
Shaun Collinge has been at the helm of the multi-award-winning pub The Maltings since it opened in 1992.
He is working towards reopening the Tanner’s Moat venue on 17 May.
Shaun was generally very positive about the Chancellor’s support package.
“I’m disappointed that the VAT cut didn’t extend a little further than the food and soft drinks sector within hospitality – thus denying wet-led pubs a much needed helping hand,” he told YorkMix.
“But on the whole, I think today’s Budget is very welcome and supportive for hospitality across the UK with a continued freeze on rates – albeit only until June – and the extension of the furlough scheme.
“First and foremost our priority has got to be getting our venues open and trading once and for all, with no unnecessary government restrictions.
“We need to get hospitality up and running to help boost the overall economy.”
Budget reaction: ‘Businesses facing a cliff edge’ – York Lib Dems
Andrew Waller, who is deputy leader of City of York Council as well as Liberal Democrat executive member for economy and strategic planning, wants a more long-term view.
“Whilst the Chancellor has answered many of the calls made by businesses, from furlough extension and VAT cut to a new grants scheme, these measures must not be a knee-jerk reaction but rather underpin a wider long term plan to support local economies and jobs,” he said.
“Limited extensions, whilst welcome in the short term, still put businesses and residents in a position here they are facing a cliff edge for when this vital support will be unilaterally withdrawn.
“Furlough, the VAT cut and business rate holiday must be continued until the end of the year with a gradual phasing out rather than a cut-off date at the time when most hospitality and retail business will only be beginning to recover.
“As always, we await further details on today’s announcements. Undoubtedly, local councils will be left in the dark speculating about the precise guidance surrounding the new plans for the coming days and weeks, as has been the case previously.
“Crucially for our city, the new grants are welcome news and we sincerely hope that these will be universal and government guidance will not tie the hands of local councils once again in eligibility criteria and other demands.
“The amount of discretionary grant funding provided to support firms in the supply chain only amounts to five per cent of the total.
“This will make it difficult for the council to provide the necessary level of support to those businesses struggling. The amount of Additional Restrictions Grant funding needs to increase to match to address the real extent of local need.
“We need clear and urgent guidance so we can ensure that council officers can continue to distribute support as soon as they reach the council.
“We will be awaiting further information on how today’s plans are expected to be implemented, and until then we will continue to work with the city’s businesses and partners to ensure that all is done to protect livelihoods and jobs people across York.”