Write To Your MP Urges UKHOSPITALITY Ahead Of Westminster Debate

UKHospitality is urging its members to write to their MP and call for “a package of targeted support measures” ahead of a Westminster Hall debate on support for the hospitality sector which takes place on Monday 11 January.

The trade body has set up a pre-written letter template and members simply add their details to and send it via email. UKHospitality said: “With England going back into yet another lockdown further threatening the futures of businesses, and only a small addition of financial support, it is clear we urgently need a package of targeted support measures. Some 41% of sector businesses suggested that they would fail by mid-2021 and only one in five sector businesses have enough cash flow to survive beyond February. When the country emerges from the pandemic, hospitality businesses will be pivotal in restoring a sense of normality.

“But we can only play this role if we are appropriately supported while restrictions are in place. On Monday, 11 January, there will be a Westminster Hall debate on support for the hospitality sector.” The trade body said as many MPs as possible must be urged to support the sector on measures including extending the reduced VAT rate, extending the business rates holiday, creating a hospitality and tourism recovery fund; and developing a roadmap out of the tier system.”

Earlier this week UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said in response to the Chancellor’s announcement of further financial support for businesses: “This is obviously a very positive step to keep businesses afloat in the immediate term and, for that reason, must be welcomed. The Chancellor has rightly recognised the costs imposed on hospitality businesses by enforced closures and the need for additional support. It is also encouraging that the discretionary grants address the suffering in the supply chains upon which our sector is reliant.

“However, while this announcement is most welcome, make no mistake that this is only a sticking plaster for immediate ills – it is not enough to even cover the costs of many businesses and certainly will not underpin longer-term business viability for our sector. To address the inevitable and existential challenges that hospitality faces, we need confirmation of extensions to the business rates holiday and of the 5% VAT rate.

“On its own, today’s support is not enough. Businesses need a longer-term economic plan and it would befit the crisis that we face if the Chancellor brought forward his Budget to make the announcements necessary to reassure businesses and allow them to plan their survival. Commercial certainty cannot come soon enough and only the Chancellor can deliver it.”

The letter template can be assessed by clicking