Stirling MP Steven Paterson has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer with concerns raised by local businesses on the impact of current rates of VAT.
Over the summer recess, Mr Paterson held a consultation on VAT with hospitality and tourism related businesses across the Stirling Constituency – with a large number of respondents.
Of the respondents:
- 87% support a reduction in VAT.
- Many businesses reduce the number of working hours for staff to operate under the VAT threshold.
- Many businesses said that they would employ more staff – especially those over the age of 21 – if there was a reduction in VAT.
- Many hotels and restaurants claim that VAT is too high and that a reduction in this sector would allow them to compete with supermarket prices.
Commenting on the consultation, Steven Paterson said:
“This was a very useful exercise which taught me a lot about how the current VAT system impacts on business growth and jobs in my constituency. Comments in response to my consultation from local business owners have been used in order to raise many concerns over the current rates of VAT with the UK Government.
“It is clear that a flat rate in VAT makes it difficult for businesses to compete with supermarket prices – stunting growth and jobs expansion. The fact that business owners and managers are conscious of the number of working hours they are using in order to sustainably operate under a VAT threshold is indicative of a system that simply does not work.
“The Chancellor must address this as a matter of priority and we must move towards a system that gives hospitality businesses a fair crack of the whip in an economy that is increasingly being overshadowed by supermarket retail. This would bring great business and jobs opportunities across the tourism-rich Stirling area.”