RESTAURANTS in Glasgow are warning that VAT cuts and half-price meals will not be enough to keep many from closing.

The UK Government recently unveiled its summer statement mini-budget with several policies announced for the hospitality


VAT for restaurants will be cut from 20% to 5% and the Government’s “eat out to help out” scheme will see half-price meals, up to £10 per head, in restaurants across the UK in August from Monday to Wednesday.

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However, some are warning these measures will not outweigh the harm caused by social-distancing rules.

Mimmo Rossi, owner of Bella Vita, said: “We’re lucky. We’re a very established place – and we’re suffering. It isn’t going to be easy to run a business with restrictions. We’re at 50% capacity which for us is very hard.

“As time goes on, looking at the future of preserving businesses, there won’t be any other option but to make staff redundant. The budget is definitely helping keep businesses alive, but it won’t be enough to make a lot of business not close.”

Paolo Martone, restaurant operator of Qua Italian Restaurant, said: “It’ll help my business a little bit, not a lot. There’s more economic harm being caused by limiting the capacity of the restaurant because of social distancing than there is by cutting the VAT rate from 20% to 5%.

“I think the Government could be upfront with the people to say there’s a risk involved and whether they take the risk or not and if they want to enter a restaurant they can do that and be allowed to operate normally. Any over-18s should be allowed to make their decision over their life, not have stuff mandated to them.

“If they’re old and worried about coronavirus they can stay in the house and if they’re young and worried they can stay at home too, but if they’re young and want to go out they can do what they want. People should be given the discretion to behave.”

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Meanwhile, Romana Perella, owner of Amore, said the budget would be a massive help to his business.

“As soon as I heard, I was ecstatic,” he said.

“We were worried the Government would not be helpful at all and then they came out with 5% VAT until January. That is a massive help to restaurants.

“The 50% off on Monday to Wednesday is good because we’re worried that people won’t come in because they have less money. And they’re the quieter days so it helps brings more traffic in rather than it all being at the weekend. It helps so much to get stuff going to get us through the next few months. It’s been a biggie.”

Pubs and restaurants are set to open up Wednesday, July 15, subject to strict hygiene measures.