The new chancellor is facing pressure from the UK hospitality industry to include plans to reform business rates and the apprenticeship levy in the upcoming budget.
The industry’s trade body has urged Rishi Sunak – who was appointed as chancellor after Sajid Javid stepped down in last week’s cabinet reshuffle – to cut the business rates multiplier by 10 per cent for one year.
The cut could be funded by central Government, UK Hospitality said. It also recommended that Sunak extends hospitality relief to more premises.
Reform of the apprenticeship levy was also high on the organisation’s list of demands. UK Hospitality said greater flexibility should be allowed for businesses, and particularly small-to-medium sized enterprises.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, said: “The upcoming budget is a key moment for the government and new chancellor to demonstrate their commitment to the sector and to recognise that we are a serious player and a powerful driver for positive economic growth.”
Among the other calls for action, UK Hospitality demanded a freeze on alcohol duties, a reduction in VAT to support tourism, the removal of “unnecessary” EU regulations and investment in local infrastructure.
“Hospitality is well placed to contribute positively, having achieved higher and faster growth in output, wages and productivity than the economy as a whole in recent years.” Nichols added.
“Our message remains simple, clear and consistent: unleash hospitality’s potential and it will unleash Britain’s potential.
“With the right stable and supportive tax and regulatory framework we can boost employment, skills and career opportunities, secure investment in regeneration and unlock the value of our social capital to unleash Britain’s global potential.”