UKHospitality has reacted to yesterday’s financial support announcement from chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying the pledge will not underpin longer-term business viability for the sector.
The trade body said while the announcement was welcome, it was only a ‘sticking plaster for immediate ills’ and would not go far enough to cover the costs of many hospitality businesses whilst closed.
Yesterday Sunak made up to £9,000 of funding support available for businesses in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors to help companies during the lockdown period, which is expected to last until at least the middle of February.
UKHospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said: “This is obviously a very positive step to keep businesses afloat in the immediate term and, for that reason, must be welcomed.
“However, while this announcement is most welcome, make no mistake that this is only a sticking plaster for immediate ills – it is not enough to even cover the costs of many businesses and certainly will not underpin longer-term business viability for our sector. To address the inevitable and existential challenges that hospitality faces, we need confirmation of extensions to the business rates holiday and of the 5% VAT rate.
“On its own, today’s support is not enough. Businesses need a longer-term economic plan and it would befit the crisis that we face if the Chancellor brought forward his Budget to make the announcements necessary to reassure businesses and allow them to plan their survival. Commercial certainty cannot come soon enough and only the Chancellor can deliver it.”