Chancellor Philip Hammond must announce specific measures in the Autumn Statement on 23 November to boost the UK’s hospitality sector, a recruiter has urged.
Specialist hospitality recruiter The Change Group said the measures are specifically important for businesses in London and the South East, which are at the front of the line for receiving foreign revenue from the many businesses and leisure travellers who visit the UK.
The company outlined a number of measures to support the hospitality sector including; boost consumer spending by maintaining consumer confidence; keep level or bring down excise duty on wines and beers; and reducing employer’s National Insurance for under 25s to encourage employers to offer opportunities to young and inexperienced job seekers.
It also said more should be done to support the high street, claiming shopping and hospitality go hand in hand. In particular it said measures to control business rates, which can represent 30-40% of retail property costs, should be introduced.
Craig Allen, founder and director, said: “Philip Hammond should prioritise the pub and restaurant sectors in his Autumn Statement as this is the fourth largest employer in the UK and one of our fastest growing sectors.
“A weaker pound has strengthened tourism and this is good for hospitality. But recruitment is still a challenge, and may become worse depending on the terms of Brexit. Plus employers are facing higher costs because of the increase to the minimum wage and inflation and the Business Rate reviews.”
He added the Chancellor needs to do more to help this “vital industry” and quickly to boost confidence.
According to the BHA, hospitality businesses employ 10% of the UK workforce and are the sixth largest contributor to export earnings.