Dan Watkins welcomes measures to boost tourism across Thanet and Canterbury

  • VAT to be cut for six months for all businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and attractions industries, including up to 1,600 in Thanet and Canterbury
  • Public urged to ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ with new voucher scheme to encourage people to support local restaurants throughout August

The Chancellor has announced a much-needed boost for tourism and hospitality businesses in Thanet and Canterbury, as part of his Summer Economic Update to kickstart the economy post-coronavirus.

Local councillor Dan Watkins has welcomed the measures, which will see VAT for hospitality, accommodation and attraction businesses cut from 20 per cent to 5 per cent for six months. The move is designed to support the sectors which have been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus crisis, helping businesses to recover and boosting the number of jobs across the country. Up to 1,600 businesses could stand to benefit from the measures across Thanet and Canterbury districts.

Dan Watkins has also urged local people to eat out to help out, following the announcement that the Government will pay for up to 50 per cent of people’s meals out at restaurants, pubs and cafes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August. The Eat Out to Help Out scheme will entitle everyone to a discount of up to 50 per cent on their meal, up to a maximum of £10 per person. Businesses can claim the money back from the Government, which will be paid in five working days. Up to 870 businesses in Thanet and Canterbury could benefit from the move.

Taken together, these measures will provide a timely and much-needed boost to the tourism and hospitality industries, forming a key part of the Government’s plan for jobs – supporting people to find jobs, creating new jobs and protecting jobs in hard-hit sectors.

Commenting, Dan Watkins said:

“Speaking regularly to local businesses in my constituency in Herne Bay, I understand how difficult recent months have been for firms in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Now that the virus is coming under control, we must turn our attention to creating and protecting jobs.

“I hope that everyone across Thanet and Canterbury will answer the call to Eat Out to Help Out. This fantastic new voucher scheme, along with the cut in VAT, is the much-needed lifeline many businesses have been calling for. The timing is perfect for our seaside community and we hope the sun will play its part too.

“Our plan for jobs will turn our national recovery into millions of stories of personal renewal – as the Conservatives continue to stand squarely behind people, businesses and our economy.”