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News & Press: General

UKHospitality reacts to Conservative manifesto commitments

24 November 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Pernille Thomsen
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Conservative Party manifesto pledges published today can start to unleash the power of the nation’s hospitality sector, according to the sector’s trade association.

UKHospitality has long campaigned for business rates reform, for measures to increase take home pay and for upskilling the workforce, and so has welcomed Conservative pledges on all three issues.

Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality’s CEO, today said: “Employment costs, property taxes and skills are key challenges for hospitality if it is to add yet more economic value and employment to the UK.

“A fundamental review of business rates is long overdue. A commitment to cut the rates bills is certainly welcome and it is heartening to see pubs and music venues referenced in the context of reliefs – we wait with interest to hear further detail.

“Alongside previously announced NICs changes to improve take home pay, this manifesto also commits to improving the apprenticeship levy system and wider initiatives and funds for upskilling. It seems that our messages have been heard.

“We also welcome the manifesto’s inclusion of community ownership proposals, including for pubs, but the focus must primarily be to create an operating environment that bypasses the need for bail outs for hospitality venues.

“These are all steps in the right direction but there is much more still to be done to empower hospitality yet further as an economic driver of prosperity, jobs and growth.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors 
  • UKHospitality is the trade body representing the UK’s hospitality sector, established following a merger approved in February 2018 between the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA)
  • UKHospitality is the authoritative voice for over 700 companies, operating around 65,000 venues in a sector that employs 3.2 million people
  • The body speaks on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out-of-home’ businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to niche groups and independent single-site operators
  • For the first time, the sector has a single voice bringing together businesses from all aspects of hospitality; coffee shops, hotels, serviced apartments, pubs, restaurants, leisure parks, nightclubs, contract caterers, entertainment, stadia and visitor attractions
  • Engaging with government, the media and the public, UKHospitality works to develop a robust case on how to unlock the industry’s full potential as the biggest engine for growth in the economy and ensure that the industry’s needs are effectively represented
  • The sector creates £130bn in economic activity and generates £39bn of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services
  • Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP
  • Hospitality is the 3rd largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined

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