Queen's Speech 2015: Hospitality industry responds

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Queen's Speech 2015: Hospitality industry responds

Related tags: Business rates, Business, Small business

The hospitality industry has welcomed legislation outlined in the Queen’s speech at the state opening of parliament yesterday (27 May).

As part of the announced Enterprise Bill the government plans to reduce regulation on small businesses, with the aim of cutting red tape by at least £10bn.

It also proposes the creation of a Small Business Conciliation Service to help settle disputes between small and large businesses without court action, especially over late payments.

Three million apprenticeships were also announced, alongside greater powers for local authorities - which VisitEngland hailed as a boost for regional tourism.

BBPA

British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive Brigid Simmonds welcomed the ‘focus on reducing the burden on businesses'.

She said: “Our sector employs around one million people and, along with the rest of the hospitality sector, can be a key engine for economic growth and job creation.

“Plans to extend the ‘Primary Authority’ scheme is good news, as pubs can benefit from the cost savings of having to deal with only one local authority when it comes to enforcement in areas such as health and safety and fire regulation.

“We will also be looking at opportunities for more deregulation, and contributing to the review of Business Rates, where we have long been campaigning for reform.”

Simmons also welcomed the announcement of a further three million apprenticeships, which she stated was ‘vital for the industry’.

VisitEngland

VisitEngland’s chief executive James Berresford said legislation enabling cities to bid for an elected mayor, with more powers over areas such as planning, transport and regional development, would provide a boost for tourism.

“This is great news for our cities and a fantastic opportunity for tourism, which contributes £106bn to the UK economy. Regional and local authorities now have greater flexibility to prioritise policies that could support tourism leading to increased economic growth.

“Many tourism businesses across the country are SMEs so we welcome the introduction of the new Small Business Conciliation Service which aims to improve the business rates system," he said.

CVS

Business rates and reduction specialists CVS said the reforms did not go as far as expected.

Mark Rigby, chief executive of CVS said: “It’s positive to see that the Government is considering better information-sharing as part of business rates reform, but the benefits of this must extend directly to ratepayers.

“The Queen’s Speech and introduction to the Enterprise Bill make scant reference to the substantial reform promised under the coalition Government.

“Nonetheless, we hope these summary proposals can lead to meaningful improvements in efficiency, transparency and fairness in the business rates system, without creating new impediments for ratepayers who wish to challenge their business rates liabilities.”

Related topics: Business, Restaurants, Hotels, Pubs & Bars

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