Hospitality Leaders Call For ‘Urgent Government Action’ In Autumn Statement

Tom Kerridge, Tom Aikens, Monica Galetti and Jodie Kidd join forces with a host of leading hospitality CEOs to back a letter asking the Chancellor to freeze business rates and extend the current relief package at the Autumn Statement.

Michelin-starred chefs and publicans including Tom Kerridge, Tom Aikens, Monica Galetti and Jodie Kidd, have joined sector CEOs from more than 230 companies including Burger King, Travelodge, Marriott International, Fuller’s, Greene King and Mitchells & Butlers, in signing an open letter to the Chancellor ahead of this month’s Autumn Statement.

The letter, created by leading industry body UKHospitality, calls for continued support as the UK’s hospitality industry faces the potential of an additional £1bn business rates bill next April, unless the Chancellor freezes business rates and extends the current relief package at the Autumn Statement. The letter also calls for longer-term structural reform – of the apprenticeship levy, of VAT and a broader overhaul of business rates – that would help to equip the hospitality sector to do what it does best – drive economic growth, help to put the brakes on inflation, increase social mobility and get many more people into work.

The open letter states: “The most important step at this stage is to avoid an increase in business rates. The sector faces a near £1 billion tax hike from April 2024. We urge you to freeze the business rates multiplier, extend the 75% hospitality relief and extend the cap to at least £2 million. Business rates support can cushion the sector from these costs while allowing us to invest – in our people and our places.”

Michelin-starred chef, publican and broadcaster Tom Kerridge said: “The hospitality industry has taken a battering in recent years, yet pubs, bars and restaurants all across the nation continue to go above and beyond to provide memorable and outstanding experiences to everyone that comes through the door. As an industry this is what we love to do. The stark reality for many businesses, however, is that with rising costs and ongoing challenges time is running out and without further support from Government they will shut their doors. That’s why I fully support the calls being made by UKHospitality to the Chancellor in this letter.”

Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Tom Aikens said: “It is absolutely essential that any increase in business rates is reconsidered, which is why I have backed this letter calling for the Chancellor to support hospitality by freezing business rates, among other measures. The industry has suffered immeasurable damage over recent years, and the planned tax hike next April must be taken off the table in order to support growth and investment in the hospitality sector.”

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “It’s imperative that the Chancellor listens to our collective calls for support and takes clear action at the Autumn Statement to extend the current relief measures for a further year to protect the vital community assets that make up the UK’s vibrant hospitality sector. Hospitality is at the heart of our communities and it’s essential we do all we can to protect businesses in the sector and the value they bring, from driving economic growth to creating jobs.”

Link to view the full letter and list of signatories