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Mon 5th Sep 2022 - Sector urges new PM Liz Truss to ‘act quickly and decisively’ to save industry
Sector urges new PM Liz Truss to ‘act quickly and decisively’ to save industry: Sector trade bodies have urged new prime minister Liz Truss to “act quickly and decisively” to save the sector. UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Congratulations to Liz Truss on her election as the new leader of the Conservative Party and our prime minister. We very much look forward to working closely with her and the new cabinet in the coming weeks, as we strive to save the hospitality industry, which is experiencing crushing cost rises. The new government must act quickly and decisively to address the soaring energy bills that are facing consumers and businesses. With the right package of support – including a reduction in the headline rate of VAT for the sector to 12.5%, a business rates holiday, the deferral of all environmental levies, the reinstatement of a HM Revenue & Customs Time to Pay scheme and the reintroduction of a trade credit insurance scheme for energy – the sector will be well placed to aid growth through generating jobs and local investment. Pre-pandemic, our industry spent £10bn a year in high-street regeneration and employed 3.2 million people but with energy bills for hospitality businesses rising 300% on average – and as high as 750% in some cases – we desperately need a package of support put in place if we are to be able to play our part in the UK’s economic recovery and growth.” Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, added: “It would be hard to disguise the frustration and anxiety experienced across the industry, as we have had to patiently watch the leadership campaigns play out over the last four weeks. It is now vital the new prime minister takes this opportunity to be decisive in tackling the cost inflation crisis, over the coming days, by reducing VAT across the board, extending business rates relief and implementing an energy cap for small medium enterprise businesses. Over the coming weeks without an effective intervention from the government, we will see thousands of businesses go to the wall and millions of jobs lost.” Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) chairman Nik Antona said: “We look forward to working constructively with the new government to protect and promote the nation’s pubs, social clubs, breweries and cider producers. CAMRA is urging the prime minister to take urgent action to introduce an energy price cap to help the UK’s world-famous pubs and breweries with the astronomical energy bills that threaten to destroy livelihoods and close scores of pubs for good. If pubs increased prices for consumers at the same rate as their energy bills, we would be paying £15 or £20 per pint at the bar – which obviously isn’t viable. Without help reaching them quickly many businesses that survived the pandemic will be forced to close their doors for good with devastating consequences for communities up and down the country.”

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