Today, at Treasury Questions, I raised the importance brewers and the wider brewer sector to Wrexham's economy and I asked whether the Chancellor would, in his forthcoming Budget, consider deferring business rates and VAT payments to help ensure that the sector can thrive post-pandemic.
You can read the question, and the response, below:
Sarah Atherton (Question):
Wrexham is a town partly founded on brewing. It is home to four breweries and 64 pubs; the figure pre-covid. The industry supports nearly 1,700 jobs and generates £11 million in taxes. While hospitality businesses such as the Magic Dragon Brewery Tap tell me that the UK Government’s furlough scheme and wider support packages have been a lifeline, their future remains bleak as the pandemic rolls into a second year. Will my right hon. Friend the Chancellor in his forthcoming Budget consider deferring business rates and VAT payments even further, so pubs can have a fighting chance of pulling another pint and keeping the ales in Wales?
Kemi Badenoch, Exchequer Secretary (Answer):
The Government understand that this is a very challenging time for the UK hospitality sector, and we are constantly reviewing the package of covid-19 support. In order to ensure that decisions are made to meet these challenges, we will outline plans for 2021-22 business rates relief early this year, but my hon. Friend should let her constituents know that for existing tax liabilities the VAT deferral new payments scheme will allow businesses with deferred VAT to spread their payments over up to 11 equal payments to 31 March 2022 interest-free.