News / Autumn Statement / Business rates

Our response to the Autumn Statement 2023

What was in the statement?

The key measures of relevance to hospitality businesses in the UK:

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls says

UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls

UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls

“The Chancellor has brought forward a significant package of business rates measures that will help hospitality businesses across the country. UKHospitality led the calls for Government to extend relief and take action on the multiplier and I’m delighted the Chancellor has acted on our asks.

“The decision to freeze the small business multiplier will help those most vulnerable keep the lights on. However, the standard multiplier rising by 6.4% will see businesses representing almost two-thirds of the sector’s trade still facing a £150m rates hike. This will only put more pressure on consumer prices and inflation, at a time when businesses are still grappling with high costs of energy, food, drink and wages.

“We’re pleased that the Chancellor has also acted on our proposal and frozen alcohol duty until August next year. This is now one less cost venues have to worry about. With duty frozen, this should substantially constrain any cost increases passed on by drinks producers.

“Reforms to the planning system to drive quicker planning approvals will remove a significant barrier to business investment. This type of reform to reward the best performing local planning authorities is exactly the type of change we have been suggesting to drive growth in hospitality.

“While it’s disappointing that employer contributions to National Insurance have not also been cut, the reduction in National Insurance for employees will put more money in people’s pockets and provide a boost to hospitality in the New Year, often a challenging time for the sector.”

UKHospitality Scotland Executive Director, Leon Thompson says

UKHospitality Scotland Executive Director Leon Thompson

UKHospitality Scotland Executive Director Leon Thompson

The extension of the business rates relief scheme, as outlined by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement, is excellent news for pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels in England. However, it is vital that funds allocated to the Scottish Government are now put towards business rates relief for Scottish hospitality businesses.

“There was no relief last year, which created a competitive disadvantage with the rest of the UK and brought about further pain for businesses in Scotland. Receiving the full 75% relief is essential to ensure that more venues can focus on thriving and not just surviving.

“UKHospitality Scotland has also called on the Scottish Government to freeze the poundage rate this year. By doing this the Scottish Government can ensure our businesses benefit in full from a package of support that can help deliver growth in the Scottish economy.

“Business rates relief and a freeze on the poundage in next month’s Scottish Budget will help Scottish hospitality blossom and continue to do what it does best – provide guests with fantastic experiences, build stronger businesses, create thousands of jobs and deliver a meaningful contribution to the economic and social fibre of society.”

UKHospitality Cymru Executive Director David Chapman says

David Chapman, Executive Director, UKHospitality Cymru

David Chapman, Executive Director, UKHospitality Cymru

“I’m pleased that the Chancellor has listened to UKHospitality’s concerns and extended business rates relief and frozen the small business multiplier for a further year in England.

“It is now critical for Welsh hospitality businesses that funds allocated to the Welsh Government are once again put towards a relief scheme, as well as to ensure rates are frozen. The rates relief put in place last year proved to be a lifeline for businesses and we would encourage the Government to extend this again. It will afford businesses some much-needed headroom and the certainty they need to invest and grow their businesses, instead of just focusing on survival. That enables our sector to continue rebuilding and contributing significantly again to the Welsh economy, culture and society.”

Continue reading

Join over 750 members who have exclusive access to latest news, online support, policy updates and much more.