The British Hospitality Association has reacted to yesterday’s budget announcement, with chief executive Ufi Ibrahim revealing the group is still ‘extremely worried’ about small industry businesses.
The BHA represents 46,000 businesses, and says the hospitality and tourism industry, which employs 4.5 million people and is the UK’s fourth largest sector, is facing an average 23 per cent increase in business rates, meaning small businesses will struggle to survive.
The reaction comes as the Chancellor Phlip Hammond delivered his first budget yesterday, announcing a £300m boost across local authorities in England.
Ibrahim described this as doing ‘little to soften the blow of the massive increases in business rates’ and as a ‘tiny drop in the ocean’.
She said: “We remain extremely worried that some small hospitality businesses, facing an average 23 per cent rates increase, will be forced out of business. The Chancellor’s move will do nothing to stop the Valuation office being swamped with appeals – and there are still a massive 250,000 businesses waiting for a verdict on appeals made up to seven years ago.In addition the hike in alcohol duty will cancel out any headline grabbing relief on business rates with the Chancellor effectively robbing ‘Peter to pay Paul’.”