A ten-year phased approach to reducing immigration from the EU, to allow time for the recruitment of UK workers, is a key plank of a ‘manifesto’ sent to the major political parties by the British Hospitality Association, the leading tourism trade body.
The BHA, representing the UK’s fourth largest industry employing more than 4.5 million people, calls on all parties to make hospitality and tourism a strategic priority – as have many other governments around the world.
It asks that immigration targets be evidence-based and cites a recent report from KPMG which concluded that at least an extra 60,000 EU workers were required each year to keep just the hospitality business going and growing.
Ufi Ibrahim, the chief executive of the BHA, said: “We recognise that immigration policy needs to change but we need time to find and recruit UK workers. We have already sent the Government our ten year plan for this to happen and are keen to help the next administration to reposition our industry as a great place to work and use every opportunity to support the sector.”
Other key BHA manifesto recommendations are:
- That Tourism VAT on accommodation and attractions be cut from 20% to 5% to allow the UK to compete on a level-playing field against rival destinations in Europe
- That the National Living Wage be set by the Low Pay Commission and not by political parties
- That there be a fundamental and immediate review of business rates systems that disadvantages bricks and mortar businesses.