UKHospitality reaction to Conservative manifesto

Conservative Party manifesto pledges published yesterday can start to unleash the power of the nation’s hospitality sector, according to the sector’s trade association.

UKHospitality has long campaigned for business rates reform, for measures to increase take home pay and for upskilling the workforce, and so has welcomed Conservative pledges on all three issues.

Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality’s CEO, said, “Employment costs, property taxes and skills are key challenges for hospitality if it is to add yet more economic value and employment to the UK.

“A fundamental review of business rates is long overdue. A commitment to cut the rates bills is certainly welcome and it is heartening to see pubs and music venues referenced in the context of reliefs – we wait with interest to hear further detail.

“Alongside previously announced NICs changes to improve take home pay, this manifesto also commits to improving the apprenticeship levy system and wider initiatives and funds for upskilling. It seems that our messages have been heard.

“We also welcome the manifesto’s inclusion of community ownership proposals, including for pubs, but the focus must primarily be to create an operating environment that bypasses the need for bail outs for hospitality venues.

“These are all steps in the right direction but there is much more still to be done to empower hospitality yet further as an economic driver of prosperity, jobs and growth.”