50 Leading Hospitality Businesses Call on Chancellor for URGENT Business Rates Support in Budget
Ahead of the upcoming Budget, 50 leading hospitality business have rallied behind UKHospitality, the single, authoritative voice for the hospitality sector, to submit a letter to the new Chancellor Rishi Sunak – calling for urgent support on business rates.
Pub, bar, restaurant and hotel groups including Greene King, Wagamama, Accor, Merlin Entertainment, Pizza Hut and J D Wetherspoon, are calling for immediate action to prevent further damage to a sector which pays more than £3 billion each year in business rates – four times more than it should be under an equitable system.
The full text of the letter, coordinated by UKHospitality, is below and attached.
Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality Chief Executive, comments: “Hospitality is a sector that touches people in communities all across the UK but is being harmed by an outdated business rates system that is simply not fit for purpose. Rising business rates bills mean hospitality businesses don’t have the cash to invest in jobs and revitalising high streets and rural communities. We urge the Chancellor to act at the upcoming Budget to help support the sector.
“The Government must push ahead and fulfil its promise on reform without further delay. We are determined to ensure that a future rates system benefits the hospitality sector, which has been disproportionately hit over the years.”
Hospitality businesses overpay on rates by £2.4 billion relative to their economic activity – paying four times more than they should
Hospitality pays 11% of business rates yet makes up 2.5% of business activity
The sector creates £130bn in economic activity and generates £39bn of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services
Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP
Hospitality is the 3rd largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined
Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer
1 Horse Guards Road
Hospitality sits at the heart of British communities, across the length and breadth of the country. Our venues host celebrations and social occasions for people from all walks of life while our contract catering feeds schoolchildren, the sick and the elderly. The sector provides employment for one in 10 of the working population and serves Britons in rural and urban areas alike, in the North and the South, and everywhere in between. Hospitality is the face of Britain’s tourism offering to the world.
Yet the sector is being damaged by a broken and archaic tax that penalises these meeting places and social hubs. The sector pays more than £3 billion each year in business rates – four times more than it would be under an equitable system. Hospitality is the most negatively and disproportionately impacted sector of the economy by this tax.
There is a consensus across all sectors that the current tax system is not working fairly, and that there needs to be a move away from business rates. Support and reform will help to sustain and reinvent communities across the country, reversing a decade of decline in many Northern towns and cities, for example. Inaction risks creating ghost towns, lost jobs, lost investment and a drag on the economy.
The urgency for action cannot be overstated: to avoid further damage to hospitality the Government must cut business rates in England in the imminent Budget by 10%, and extend reliefs to more hospitality businesses through the removal of the cap on reliefs and via means unfettered by EU state aid rules. This must be accompanied by an immediate and rapid review of the current system with a commitment to shift the tax burden away from property. These changes will help us to provide the jobs and investment that are critical to the economy and our aim of helping the Government to deliver on its ambitious policy agenda.
Accor Northern Europe
All Our Bars
Beds & Bars Ltd
Dr Andrew Kemp MBE
Group Sales & Marketing Director
Brewhouse & Kitchen
Brunning and Price Ltd
Casual Dining Group
Co-Founder and Director
Fuller, Smith & Turner
G C Mallen
Director & Co-Founder
Knightwood Leisure Ltd
Laine Pub Company
Legacy Hotels & Resorts Ltd
Mitchells & Butlers plc
MW Eat Ltd
Pizza Hut Restaurants UK Ltd
Chairman and Managing Director
Pub People Company
Chief Operating Officer
Revolution Bars Group
Rosa's Thai Café
Stonegate Pub Company
The Colombo Group
The Deltic Group
The Vineyard Group
Wasabi Co Ltd
Whiting & Hammond
Chief Operating Officer