UKHospitality has commented on a shorter-than-usual Spring Statement, outlining its intention to engage closely with the Government, but calling it a missed opportunity to deliver meaningful tax reform.
UKH Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “There are some tentative steps here to support the sector but this is a missed opportunity to provide the decisive and positive action on business rates that hospitality desperately needs, and for which we have been calling.
“Bringing forward the revaluation will not provide the immediate support that businesses need unless it is accompanied by widescale reform beforehand.”
“A focus on taxing digital businesses is welcome but it needs to also tackle inequalities in business rates between digital companies and high street operators. If that is not addressed then businesses will continue to struggle against crippling rates bills, and jobs and investment will be at risk. UKHospitality will continue to push the Government to deliver on their promise of root and branch reform.
“A consultation on plastics provides an opportunity to highlight the proactive measures the sector is already taking to address the issue of waste, for which there is a real appetite from consumers. Businesses and trade bodies from across the sector are working together to help tackle the problem and reduce avoidable plastic waste.
“Change must come via positive voluntary action, rather than punitive legislation that penalises and burdens businesses without solving the problem. A consultation will give us an opportunity to ensure that the Government understands this and works with us.
“Consulting on possible VAT reduction in Northern Ireland is a welcome first step in addressing the significant barrier to growth posed by tourism VAT. We will engage closely and continue to push for a UK-wide reduction in VAT for tourism and hospitality businesses.”
A briefing on the Spring Statement can be found here.