Martin Couchman OBE deputy chief executive, British Hospitality Association said:
For the Hospitality Industry, there was little to get excited about in the Chancellors budget today, although small and medium sized businesses will note the promised business rates reductions to come in 2020.
Members of the BHA will be pleased to see the abolition of the Carbon Reduction Commitment energy efficiency scheme which was very bureaucratic and cumbersome and caused difficulties for franchise arrangements.
The Chancellor favours continuing to devolve powers into the regions which he believes will improve transport and connectivity, support job creation and local tourism. Our members across England will likely be pleased that English counties and regions will get elected Mayors and this organisation will continue to work with all Mayors as they get elected to ensure tourism is a top priority, especially in coastal and rural areas.
Tourism and hospitality members will also likely be pleased to see increased support for tourism and cultural activity with the announcement of cathedral investment, tax breaks for museums and travelling exhibitions, however we were disappointed that the Chancellor didn’t go further and create a cut in tourism VAT to benefit the whole industry.
We were also disappointed not to see a reduction in National Insurance and a delay in the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy which would have been helpful in reducing the total impact of the National Minimum Wage and the introduction of National Living Wage in April this year.
Despite the terrible effects of the flooding earlier in the year, our industry has continued to rally together to support communities affected by the flooding and our members in these areas will also welcome the Chancellor’s new investment for flood defences and resilience measures.