Hoteliers Seek Show of Support Ahead of General Election

After the autumn statement and spring budget left the sector feeling very let down, the Bristol Hoteliers Association (BHA) is urging those hoping to form part of the next Government to back their businesses.

BHA Chair Raphael Herzog said: “Ever since the pandemic, we’ve been backing the trade body UKHospitality in its calls for a reduced rate of VAT for our businesses, which would bring many benefits.

“When people cast their votes on 4 July, they want to elect people who will listen, and who will then want to act based on what they hear."

“For too long, the pleas from our sector have fallen on deaf ears. Over the coming weeks, we want to hear strong voices talk about how they would support our sector in the new Parliament."

“If they won’t listen to us, perhaps they should listen to their peers; the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Hospitality and Tourism backed UKHospitality’s calls for VAT to be reduced to 12.5%."

“If they won’t listen to their peers, perhaps they will listen to the public! A YouGov study, commissioned by UKHospitality, found that 79% of the public favoured a reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and tourism.”

He added: “The UK has one of the highest rates of VAT in Europe".

“During the pandemic, lower rates of VAT were introduced, and had a positive impact, stimulating demand and generating revenue."

“Lower VAT will enable us to make our services more affordable to the public, saving them when they eat or drink out, visit an attraction or book a break."

“The impact of the pandemic, a labour shortage caused, in no small part, by Brexit, soaring supply and energy prices and increases in the National Living Wage have all put tremendous pressure on our businesses."

“A lower rate of VAT would help the hospitality sector cope with all these costs and could provide the boost that could prevent even more businesses in our industry from closing down."

“The APPG concluded that a lower rate of VAT for hospitality and tourism could help ease the cost of living pressure, improve employment opportunities, support regional growth and even improve social wellbeing."

“If people haven’t made up their minds about who they will vote for next month, perhaps they might consider the issues we are facing, and listen to see which political parties are prepared to take positive steps to support us."

“That’s what we are waiting to hear, and that is what is likely to win our votes!”

Mr Herzog has been actively engaging with UKHospitality as it continues to campaign tirelessly for more support for the sector.