The Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently spoke with Cllr Salim Choudhury, President of the British Bangladesh Caterers Association, in a video call. Salim thanked him for the help and support for the hospitality industry given during the pandemic and went on to ask the Chancellor to consider a permanent VAT concession for the sector.
Rishi replied that he was a big champion of the hospitality industry and recognized the contribution made during the pandemic. He said, “Hundreds of thousands of businesses have made an enormous effort to make themselves Covid safe over this difficult year so. I salute you and your colleagues for that. You employ millions of people so it’s vitally important for our economy to get you back on your feet and open again.”
He praised not just the economic contribution of the hospitality sector, but their important social impact. “You are what brings life and vitality to our high streets and town centers and brings us all together as people. I am very hopeful we can get through this last push and look forward to better times,” he added.
The chancellor understands the challenges of the hospitality sector as he himself used to work as a waiter as a young man at Kuti’s Brasserie in Southampton. This is one of the reasons for the unprecedented support to this industry, which nonetheless looks forward to furthering, much-needed backing in the future.