Hospitality sector urges new Prime Minister Liz Truss to ‘act quickly and decisively' to save the industry

Alex South

Alex South


Hospitality trade bodies have urged new prime minister Liz Truss to "act quickly and decisively" to save the sector

A group that included of UKHospitality, the Night Time Industries Association, and The Campaign for Real Ale has called on the new prime minister to introduce measures that will help protect businesses from the cost of living crisis and stop the threat of mass closures.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, 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 an 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.

She also said: "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.” 

Along with that, the chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, Michael Kill said: “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.” 

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) was also involved in the call for the new prime minister to take action as its 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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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 5th September 2022

Hospitality sector urges new Prime Minister Liz Truss to ‘act quickly and decisively' to save the industry