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comments: “Hospitality is a sector that touches people in communities all across the UK but is being harmed by an outdated business rates system that is simply not fit for purpose.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.”

Quick Stats:

  • 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

LETTER

Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP

Chancellor of the Exchequer

1 Horse Guards Road

London

SW1A 2HQ

Dear Chancellor,

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.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Lilley

CEO

Abokado

Thomas Dubaere

COO

Accor Northern Europe

Paul Wigham

Chief Executive

All Our Bars

Paul Kelly

CEO

BALPPA

Wendy Bartlett

Executive Chairman

Bartlett Mitchell

Murray Roberts

Managing Director

Beds & Bars Ltd

Dr Andrew Kemp MBE

Group Sales & Marketing Director

Bidfood

Kris Gumbrell

CEO

Brewhouse & Kitchen

Mary Willcock

Managing Director

Brunning and Price Ltd

Mark Jones

CEO

Carluccio’s

James Spragg

CEO

Casual Dining Group

George Akins

MD

DHP Family

Simon Townsend,

CEO

Ei Group

Cameron Leslie

Co-Founder and Director

Fabric

Simon Emeny

Chief Executive

Fuller, Smith & Turner

Garry Mallen

Owner

G C Mallen

Martin Williams

CEO

Gauchos

Peter Salussolia

Chairman

Glendola Leisure

Nick Mackenzie

CEO

Greene King

Charlie Gilkes

Director & Co-Founder

Inception Group

John Hutson

CEO

JD Wetherspoon

Amanda Newbery

Managing Director

Knightwood Leisure Ltd

Maurice Abboudi

Executive Director

K10 Restaurants

Gavin George

CEO

Laine Pub Company

Andy Townsend

CEO

Legacy Hotels & Resorts Ltd

Meher Nawab

CEO

LHG

Nick Varney

CEO

Merlin Entertainments

Phil Urban

CEO

Mitchells & Butlers plc

Mike Tye

Chairman

MOTO

Ranjit Mathrani

Chairman

MW Eat Ltd

Peter Borg-Neal

CEO

Oakman Inns

Steve Richards

CEO

Parkdean Resorts

Jens Hofma

CEO

Pizza Hut Restaurants UK Ltd

Kevin Sammons

Chairman and Managing Director

Pub People Company

Ben Stackhouse

CEO

PubLove

Roberto Morettia

Chief Operating Officer

Puttshack

Rob Pitcher

CEO

Revolution Bars Group

Gavin Adair

Chief Executive

Rosa's Thai Café

Simon Longbottom

CEO

Stonegate Pub Company

Steve Ball

CEO

The Colombo Group

Peter Marks

Chief Executive

The Deltic Group

Andrew McKenzie

Managing Director

The Vineyard Group

Philip Thorley

Operations Director

Thorley Taverns

Kate Nicholls

CEO

UKHospitality

Emma Woods

CEO

Wagamama

Mark Selby

Co-founder

Wahaca

Henry Birts

CEO

Wasabi Co Ltd

Brian Keeley-Whiting

Managing Director

Whiting & Hammond

Simon Dodd

Chief Operating Officer

Young’s

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