In response to the Budget Statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer today Ufi Ibrahim, the Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association, said:
“The £300 million spread around England’s local authorities to soften the blow of massive increases in business rates is a tiny drop in the ocean. In addition the hike in alcohol duty will cancel out any headline grabbing relief on business rates for hospitality businesses with the Chancellor effectively robbing ‘Peter to pay Paul’.
“We remain extremely worried that some small hospitality businesses, facing an average 23 per cent rates increase, will be forced out of business . The Chancellor’s move will do nothing to stop the Valuation office being swamped with appeals – and there are still a massive 250,000 businesses waiting for a verdict on appeals made up to seven years ago.”
“A review and fundamental reform of Business Rates for a digital age is overdue and we welcome the Chancellor’s announcement that this is forthcoming. It is important that this review is brought forward to the earliest opportunity and the BHA will continue to work with HM Treasury to ensure hospitality and tourism businesses do not suffer in the next round.”
Regarding the Chancellor’s announced investments on technical skills:
“Our industry has made a massive contribution to the current record levels of employment across all parts of the country. The Government’s planned investment in technical skills must to deliver the skills our growing industry needs especially considering the uncertainty regarding workforce supply caused by the Brexit negotiation process. Our industry depends upon school leavers who don’t necessarily want to follow an academic path and hospitality and tourism offers fantastic careers opportunities.”
Regarding the Budget announcement that the Government will consult on how to ‘re-design’ rent-a-room relief:
“The BHA supports the government’s initiative to increase affordable long-term lodgings by redesigning the rent-a-room relief and welcomes the opportunity to present our evidence to the consultation. It is important to ensure a fair-playing field for accommodation providers in terms of taxation as well as regulatory compliance, and to ensure that secure housing provision for hospitality workers is affordable.”