UKHospitality calls for more action on rates

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UKHopsitality has made it clear to the treasury that it must undertake a serious re-evaluation of current business rates guidelines if the future prosperity of the hospitality industry is to be ensured.

The trade body responded to a statement released by the chancellor that was in turn a retort to a Committee letter expressing concern that the current business rates valuations were leading to undue pressure on the high street.

UKHospitality has further called for a ringfencing of revenues garnered from the digital taxation system, currently being investigated.

Its chief executive Kate Nicholls said:“The government’s acknowledgement that business rates are placing an unfair burden on high streets and the signalling of the intention to reform digital taxation are certainly welcome.

“However, the government’s apparent stance that the wider system is not in need of reform, or has already been suitably reformed, is completely wrong. The government has provided some much-needed relief for pubs, and may have made some cursory inquiries with the VOA; but we are still a long way short of the fundamental review and reform of the system that was promised in successive Conservative manifestos.

“The government needs to push ahead with this review or hospitality businesses in the heart of communities will continue to face a disproportionate burden and we will see further closures. At the minimum, the government must ensure it ringfences funds generated by a revamped digital tax system to offset the gross burdens being faced by hospitality businesses.”

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