Trade association Bacta has outlined the key themes in its post-Covid lobbying campaign with tax concessions and long term support topping the agenda over the coming year.
Talking to members during the spring series of regional meetings, CEO John White put VAT concessions for seaside arcades, support for the supply chain and the re-classification of AGCs to non-essential retail as the three key targets for the industry.
“I think we are in the end game of the Covid pandemic as far as our lobbying is concerned,” White advised members, adding “we have to have more than half an eye on our post-Covid strategy in what we say and do.”
And what Bacta will be saying is extend the 5 percent reduction rate of VAT to seaside arcades in the next budget, introduce a programme of support for the supply chain which has been excluded from Covid recovery measures, and bring AGCs back into the retail sector.
One of the arguments that Bacta will be looking to present is the extensive social responsibility measures now in play throughout the industry. White explained: “On AGCs re-opening, we are ensuring we burnish our SR credentials and seek to get MPs and other stakeholders out to visit venues over the summer so they can see what we are really like. If there is any kind of future lockdown (and I hope sincerely there will not), their understanding will bolster all the things we have said to them up to this point.”
For the supply chain, the association’s programme was less specific, but White acknowledged the imbalance. “In respect of support for the supply chain, money is now flowing via Local Authorities. Unfortunately the amounts tend to be unhelpfully small. Our advice is keep going back for more.” He added that the association was seeking counsel on supply chain policy.