A temporary reduction in VAT to 5% for certain hospitality businesses introduced during the pandemic, has come to an end. How are firms preparing for the increase in "lifeline" government tax again?There are 5 types of symbols: SLOTXO Horseshoe, Diamond, Spade, Heart and Bell. The symbol is a liberty bell. which is a symbol of the declaration of freedom of United StatesThe value added tax relief applied to theatres, circuses, amusement parks, pubs, museums, zoos and cinemas, among others.The reduction from 20% was introduced by the government in July 2020 and was extended twice - to 31 March this year, and then again until 30 September.When he announced the first extension, chancellor Rishi Sunak said it would help "support more than 150,000 businesses" through winter.It has now increased to 12.5%, and is due to return to the pre-pandemic level of 20% in April.'Dark times'Shepreth Wildlife Park in Cambridgeshire says it will "just have to bear the brunt" of the rises.Its director, Rebecca Willers, says the lockdown periods have been "horrendous"."It's been dark times - as it has been for everyone," she says.Last year the park "lost out on hundreds of thousands of pounds [in revenue] ... and to date we're 40% down on this year".She says the government's VAT cut to 5% has been "absolutely phenomenal" and has saved the park "tens of thousands of pounds".'Back to reality'Alex Clarke's pub company runs The Red Lion in Hinxton and The Black Bull in Balsham, both in Cambridgeshire.He says government support, which also included the furlough scheme, has been "vital".He has been a publican for 15 years and says he has "never seen anything like it - it's been an extraordinary year"."We would not be here without that help that we got. But I do feel we're now moving on and we need to start getting back to reality again."A rise in the VAT rate to 12.5% "seems bearable", he says.