BHA responds to the autumn Budget 2017

In response to the Budget Statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer today Ufi Ibrahim, the Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association, said:

Regarding the Chancellor's announcement to explore new taxes on plastic waste:

“We look forward to working with the government to reduce the use of single use plastics in the hospitality industry and ensuring that any such charge does not bring unnecessary burden on businesses”

Regarding the mention in the Budget around technical skills:

“The Chancellor announced an additional £20 million to be spent on preparation for T-levels. As a first move he should bring forward hospitality T-levels from their delayed introduction in September 2022, after the UK has left the European Union. This would mean that UK students could make an earlier start in a career in hospitality, in the process helping reduce the number of EU workers in the hospitality industry.”

Regarding the statement on business rates:

“The Chancellor’s announcement of an extension to the £1000 rate relief for small pubs is not nearly enough amounting, as it does, to £20 a week. The decision to review rates every three years, which the BHA has been calling for, is welcome but is of no comfort to those hospitality businesses facing huge rises right now. His decision to bring forward the use of CPI rather than RPI to set business rates is a good one.”

Regarding the Budget announcement of a decision to review cutting Tourism VAT in Northern Ireland:

“We welcome the Chancellor’s decision to press ahead with a review into cutting Tourism VAT in Northern Ireland. This is the first time that Tourism VAT has featured in a Budget and is a reflection of the hard work by the BHA and the Campaign to Cut Tourism VAT. We hope that the government will recognise the benefits of a cut to Tourism VAT and we will continue to urge a nationwide reduction.”

Regarding the Chancellor's announcement on accommodation offset:

“The BHA welcomes today’s announcement by the Low Pay Commission that the accommodation offset will increase by nearly 10% following our representations. However even with this increase, offset still does not reflect the real cost of housing provision for hospitality employers who provides accommodation for their employees, which the BHA will continue to call for. ”

Regarding the freeze on alcohol duty:

“We welcome the freeze on alcohol duty announced by the Chancellor today to help hospitality businesses facing challenging commercial conditions and steep increases in Business Rates following the 2017 revaluation”  

Regarding tax avoidance within the digital economy:

“The BHA welcomes government’s new measures to address taxation of  digital platforms and their users, both by ensuring that everyone pays their fair share of tax (including those evading or avoiding tax using offshore structures) and that platforms take greater responsibility for compliance by their users. The latter includes specific action to combat non-payment of VAT due from users, by giving joint liability to platforms for unpaid VAT  and requiring VAT registration numbers to be shown online.  The BHA believes particular focus should be given to the providers of services facilitated by online platforms, often a part of HMRC’s ‘hidden economy’, as well as those selling goods. Fairer taxation would not only assist in levelling the playing field for tax compliant businesses, but also recover very significant amounts of  ‘lost tax’ from online transactions. A call for evidence by the government in the Spring of 2018 will explore how these aims can be achieved.”

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