General Election 2019: industry bodies welcome end to 'uncertainty'

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

General Election 2019: industry bodies welcome end to 'uncertainty'

Related tags: Business rates

Hospitality trade bodies have called on the Conservatives to follow through on promises to cut business rates after the party won a clear majority in the general election.

Boris Johnson had promised to increase the business rate discount available to smaller firms from 33% to 50% in 2020/21, as well as launch a review of the system if he remained in power.

The current scheme has been criticised for exacerbating the decline of the high street by putting further cost pressures on restaurants, pubs and retailers.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, says: “A majority means that we begin to draw a line under the uncertainty we have felt over the last few years. The priority for this Government will be to secure the best Brexit possible, and the sooner it does that the sooner it needs to fulfil its election promises to business.

“We want to see the promised reduction in business rates delivered at the earliest opportunity. The new Government must also support business in delivering employment and an increase in skills and opportunities across the board.”

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, says the industry is keen to work with Government to ‘end the crippling uncertainty which has plagued UK businesses since the vote to leave the EU’.

​It is key that we complete the ambitious Brexit timetable with a withdrawal agreement that supports UK businesses and eliminates any risk of ‘No Deal’ scenario,” says Beale.

“We welcome the Government’s pledge to back British business and this can start immediately by cutting wine and spirit tax. A cut to all hospitality business rates would also provide a welcome boost to the struggling high street.”  

Tim Rycroft, chief operating office at the Food and Drink Federation, says: "For too long, business has been mired in a sea of political uncertainty, hitting investment, productivity and long-term growth.

“UK food and drink is a national success story. As set out in our manifesto, we want to work in partnership with the Government to reach our full potential as the most dynamic, sustainable, resilient and competitive industry, by boosting exports, developing talent and encouraging innovation.

“Food and drink from Great Britain and Northern Ireland is prized for its quality and provenance. Through a new national Food Strategy and a dedicated future trade policy for food and drink, we can ensure our industry flourishes and brings good jobs and growth to every corner of the UK.”

Related topics: Legislation

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