Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, has launched a campaign to fight back against the government’s latest proposed tax hike.
Lord’s ‘Axe The Red Wall Tax‘ website has been launched as part of a protest against a second tax rise for pubs and restaurants “which will put 12,600 businesses at risk”.
The new hike is set to take VAT to 20%.
Hospitality has lost more than £80.8bn over the course of the pandemic, and Lord says the new tax rise will “hurt the poorest 10% three times more than it will hurt the richest 10% and risks derailing hospitality’s ability to contribute to the UK’s recovery”.
Lord stated: “Britain’s pubs, cafes, restaurants, and hotels have already suffered immense damage since March 2020. Sales across hospitality are around half what they were in 2019, and the sector remains in crisis mode.
“Yet for some unfathomable reason, this Government plans to practically double VAT for hospitality businesses, putting at risk the survival of 12,600 businesses, forcing them to raise prices for consumers and six in ten of them to cut jobs. And it’s in Red Wall constituencies that this tax will hit people the hardest.
“This Tory tax rise is a Red Wall Tax on working class northerners, plain and simple. It will hurt the poorest in our society more than anyone else, eating into the disposable incomes of the UK’s poorest ten percent of people three times more harshly than the richest ten percent.
“I’m not sure why it’s left to me to tell a Conservative Government not to raise taxes, but the road we are going down will do nothing but stifle investment, economic growth and recovery.”
He added: “Despite having entered the pandemic as one nation, the Red Wall tax would mean that we emerge more unequal than ever. This is why I’m launching my campaign to Axe the Red Wall Tax.
“If politicians of all stripes are really serious about levelling up, and helping those parts of the country that have had a poor deal for so long, they need a strong and thriving British hospitality sector.
“The Red Wall tax will kill our industry and is the surest route to levelling down, and I’ll certainly be fighting it every step of the way.”