Cultural nightlife sector loses 86,000 workers since pandemic began
he UK’s cultural nightlife sector has lost around 86,000 jobs since the start of the pandemic, new data show.
A new report commissioned by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), which represents more than 1,200 members including nightclubs, bars and casinos, said the industry was “ravaged” by the pandemic and the restrictions imposed from last March.
Michael Kill, chief executive of NTIA, said the results come at an urgent time for the industry as it heads into the busy Christmas season.
He said it was essential that no other restrictions return to the sector – such as vaccine passports – and called for financial support from the Chancellor.
Our industry really cannot afford additional charges
“This is timely because at this time the governments of Scotland and Wales are moving forward with chaotic passport vaccination plans, and the British government refuses to exclude their use in England,” he said. -he declares.
“This is the worst possible time to introduce vaccine passports, which will further hurt a sector critical to economic recovery.”
Cultural nightlife covers live music, nightclubs and dance music, as well as events and festivals.
The NTIA said the UK nightlife industry globally accounted for around 1.6% of GDP – or £ 36.4 billion – in 2019.
The trade body called on the government to support the sector in next month’s budget by extending the current lower VAT rate and promising not to increase alcohol taxes.
Hotel companies have benefited from a 5% reduction in VAT on food, non-alcoholic drinks, accommodation, theater tickets and other items during the pandemic.
The tax rate rose to 12.5% earlier this month as part of plans to bring VAT back to its previous rate of 20% at the start of May next year.
Other business groups, including UKHospitality, have also called for the current VAT rate to be extended long-term to help the besieged industry in the budget announcement later this month.
Mr Kill said: “It is crucial that the Chancellor uses the upcoming budget to support this besieged sector.
“We are asking him to extend the 12.5% VAT rate on hospitality until 2024, to include door-to-door sales in this reduced VAT rate, because the current system punishes nightclubs that rely on door-to-door sales rather than ticket sales, and for him to ensure there is no increase in alcohol taxes.
“Our industry really cannot afford any additional charges.”
In the report, Christian Wakeford, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Nighttime Economy and Conservative MP, said: ‘As we seek to rebuild ourselves from the ravages of the pandemic, we must not leave this vital sector behind us. . . “