Conservative Manifesto Answers UKhospitality Call To Fix Unfair Business Rates

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said:
“We are delighted to see the Conservative Manifesto commit to delivering UKHospitality’s call to fix the unfair burden of business rates on hospitality businesses.

Announcing the Conservatives party manifesto Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and we are making the UK the best place in the world to start or grow a business. We have great foundations: world-class talent, an internationally envied legal system and a business-friendly regulatory environment.

“We are supporting firms with a business rates support package worth £4.3 billion over the next five years to support small businesses and the high street.”

This would include easing business rates for high street, leisure and hospitality businesses by increasing the multiplier on distribution warehouses that support online shopping and improving access to finance for SMEs.

Sunak added: “Our commitment to levelling up means giving everyone the opportunity to stay local and go far.”

The parties plans are to “create more freeports and business rates retention zones” with an application round at the start of the next parliament.

Councils would get to keep business rates growth for 25 years to invest in infrastructure and local industries. However, the manifesto does not say which areas will be able to access this.

“Last year in our manifesto we called for total reform of the broken business rates system that sees hospitality businesses pay three times their fair share. We need a permanent, lower rate for hospitality that lets businesses invest in high streets, creating places people want to live and work.

“Hospitality is a unique sector in being able to provide jobs for everyone, everywhere, and we’re pleased to see a commitment to fund 100,000 apprenticeships for young people. However, problems with the existing Apprenticeship Levy system need to be fixed first and reform of that levy is a high priority for the sector.

“We are also pleased to see a pledge to review the nighttime economy in order to harness the power of hospitality, which is the beating heart of our vibrant nightlife in this country.

“UKHospitality has clearly set out its policy recommendations for a future government and we will continue to assess pledges in all party manifestos against the needs of the sector.”