Should the VAT rise be delayed?

The snow and bad weather has caused many businesses to miss out on the usually-lucrative Christmas period; and having VAT rise from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent at the start of January will only compound SMEs’ pain.

So we ask: should the VAT rise be delayed?

Charlie Mullins, founder of Pimlico Plumbers, certainly thinks it would give SMEs a much-deserved break:

“The high street has been robbed of its pre-Christmas bonanza because of the weather and associated problems, and now the new 20 per cent rate is going to kick in. I’m sure the country’s coffers would prefer 17.5 per cent of a purchase than to get nothing at all!”

“Let’s face it: business is business. It’s all good for the economy, whether it’s taxed at 17.5 or 20 per cent. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling clothes, toys or boilers – let’s have the trade to keep the UK riding the seasonal wave, even if we need to postpone the rate rise by a month.”

There is a strong case to defer the VAT rise – this would, theoretically, counteract the disruption that retailers and other businesses suffered with the recent snowfall and bad weather.

Do you agree? Should the government delay the VAT rise? How much would it help your business?

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