Jacques Borel, who is leading the lobbying for a VAT cut for the sector, believes the campaign has a “fair chance” of achieving its goal by April 2014 following a meeting with Treasury officials this week. He told M&C Report that the meeting with officials “went well”. Twelve questions were asked, he said. “I think we have the answers to all the questions.” The meeting was specifically arranged for the Treasury’s investigations into next year’s Budget. Borel said he didn’t expect action on VAT to be announced at that point. “It’s always a long process. I maintain that the best [the industry can hope for] is [for the announcement] to be in the pre-Budget Report of October/November 2013 for putting in effect in the Budget of April 2014. “We have to be patient. But I do think we have a fair chance to obtain it within 18 months.” Asked if he planned to seek follow up meetings, Borel said: “We are going to ask for more appointments within the next days. We are not going to sleep.” Currently 40 companies from across the pub, restaurant and wider sector have signed up to Borel’s VAT Club, which is campaigning for VAT to be reduced to 5% for the industry. “I do anticipate that will have 60 members by the end of the year and that we should have 80 to 100 by next Easter,” he said. Borel said he would also be lobbying MPs at the Conservative and Labour party conferences, after attending the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton this month. During this week’s meeting, which was also attended by Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers strategic affairs director Kate Nicholls, it was argued that a reduction in VAT to 5% for the hospitality sector in the UK would create between 290,000 and 670,000 jobs.