The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt walks outside Downing Street with the Budget box. Photo by Zara Farrar / HM Treasury
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UKHospitality responds to the Budget

The Chancellor delivered his Spring Budget today, containing very little for hospitality businesses.

Kate Nicholls, CEO, UKHospitality

Kate Nicholls, CEO, UKHospitality

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said: “The Chancellor missed a real opportunity today to show that he backs hospitality and understands the real pain they are enduring.

“He had a chance to accelerate and unlock hospitality, but instead he has delivered a cut-and-paste Budget, maintaining the status quo which continues to act as a drag on recovery.

“Over the past year, we have had a Budget for growth and an Autumn Statement for investment – neither have delivered because they were not correctly targeted.

“The National Insurance cut earlier this year was intended to boost disposable income to generate growth and didn’t have an impact. A different result can’t be expected this time around.

“Government needs to take a different approach. It needs to bear down on the never-ending rising costs that are forcing businesses to shut their doors for good – taking away people’s livelihoods and robbing communities of a vital asset.

“Increases to business rates and jobs taxes in April will only increase bills further and contribute to inflation, as venues will be forced to pass these costs onto consumers.

“The entire sector was united behind UKHospitality’s asks to lower the rate of VAT, cap business rates increases and reduce employer wage costs.

“A lower rate of VAT would have been a bold reform that would drive economic growth, keep prices down and unlock investment in the sector, one that was projected to grow six times faster than the economy as a whole. It would have been good for businesses, the public and the economy.

“Hospitality is a sector proven to be a catalyst for growth across the entire nation, as the foundation of the everyday economy.

“When we perform, the entire economy performs. It’s a great shame that the Chancellor has not recognised that today.”