23 Jun 2020The government has again been urged to consider an emergency VAT reduction in order to help businesses once the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown ends. A new report published by think tank Policy Exchange has suggested that reducing the rate of VAT to 15% could help boost consumer spending in the short-term. The current standard rate of VAT is 20%. The publication of Policy Exchange's report comes following rumours that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is reportedly considering reducing the standard rate of VAT to help tackle the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 lockdown. According to reports, the Chancellor is preparing to deliver a 'Summer Statement' in early July, in which he is likely to outline new initiatives on skills and apprenticeships, alongside measures to help boost the UK economy. Experts have also recommended cutting employer national insurance contributions (NICs) and extending the business rates relief scheme in England and Wales.