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​Hospitality Industry Calls for Support Ahead of Election

​Hospitality Industry Calls for Support Ahead of Election

Posted by Emily on 23rd May 2024

With the announcement of a general election set for July 4th, key figures in the UK hospitality sector are urging all political parties to prioritise the industry's needs. UKHospitality, the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF), and the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) have highlighted the hospitality sector's strategic importance as political campaigns begin.

During a press conference outside 10 Downing Street, it was revealed that Parliament would suspend on May 24th and dissolve on May 30th, launching a five-week election campaign.

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, emphasised the sector's pivotal role in every constituency. "Hospitality businesses lie at the heart of every constituency in the country. In serving Britain, the sector creates places where people want to live, work, and invest," Nicholls stated. She further expressed the need for political recognition and support: "We need to see all political parties recognise this and will be working hard on behalf of our members during this period to ensure manifestos from across the political spectrum reflect the strategic importance of our sector."

Nicholls also called for specific measures to enhance the sector's potential, including tax reductions, improved access to workers, and increased job creation and workforce upskilling opportunities. She noted significant policy changes, such as the VAT increase to the standard 20% rate in April 2022 and the salary threshold for skilled worker visas in April this year.

Michael Kill, the NTIA's chief executive, expressed optimism about the election's potential impact. "This marks a pivotal moment for our nation, offering an opportunity to end the prolonged period of uncertainty and turmoil that has gripped our country for the past four years," Kill said. He stressed the importance of a comprehensive plan to support the night-time economy, including venue safety measures, cultural initiatives, and workforce training.

Andrew Crook, President of the NFFF, shared insights from his customer interactions about the political climate. "Talking to my customer[s] I think many are experiencing a bit of political fatigue, most say they don't expect much to change whichever of the two main parties win. I am more optimistic as whoever wins they are going to have to try and generate economic growth and through the work the NFFF have been doing when it comes to political engagement, alongside other trade associations. I do think we will be able to work with Government to help them achieve their goals," Crook said. He also voiced concerns about employment rights proposals, advocating for a balanced approach that protects both employees and employers.

As the UK gears up for a potentially transformative election, the hospitality industry stands ready to collaborate and drive positive change. Feel free to share your thoughts and join the discussion below.