UKH says action needs as thousands more jobs could be lost

UKHospitality's Chief Executive has responded to the Treasury Committee’s announcement regarding the inquiry into jobs, growth, and productivity after coronavirus.

Kate Nicholls (pictured) said, “Prior to COVID, hospitality was the third largest employer in the country, providing jobs for 3.2 million people.

'The sector created £130bn in economic activity and generated £39bn of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services. It will, therefore, be key to economic recovery.

“Having been the sector hardest hit by the pandemic, suffering months of closure and acute trading restrictions, the future of thousands of pubs, restaurants, hotels and leisure facilities is in jeopardy.'

Nicholls continued, 'So, while the sector is keen to play its part in helping to power the UK’s economic revival and job creation efforts, businesses can only do so with the right trading conditions.

“Crucially this includes scrapping the unfair business rates relief cap which will see almost 8,000 venues paying full rates in July, just weeks after reopening. A further 1,850 venues would face the same situation before the end of September.'

Nicholls concluded, 'This will likely prompt businesses to look at closing unviable sites, cutting jobs or holding back investment, damaging any efforts to UK recovery.”