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Start making a list  - Ed’s letter

A general election may not feel entirely like Christmas - and certainly one must beware strangers coming down the chimney - but it is a time to make lists.

The hospitality sector has been practising in anticipation and the list is, well, not inconsiderable. The reassuring news is that we’ve all been very, very good for as far back as we can remember.

After the rainy announcement of the election Kate Nicholls, CEO, UKHospitality, said:

“We need to see evidence of measures that can unlock the potential of our sector to do even more. These include promises of action to lower the tax burden on our industry, initiatives that give us greater access to workers, and other measures that will support us in creating more jobs and further upskilling the workforce.”

Michael Kill, CEO, Night Time Industries Association, added: “We call upon all political parties to prioritise the needs of the night-time economy in their election manifestos and commit to policies that will support its revival and sustainability. This includes measures to ensure the safety and security of our venues, support for cultural initiatives and investment in skills and training for our workforce.”

Rain Newton-Smith, CEO, CBI, said: “We urge political leaders to focus on giving business what it needs to fire on all cylinders and deliver sustainable growth for the benefit of our society.”

Savills, of course, have been beating the drum for business rate reform since business rates were just a twinkle in someone’s eye.

But will we get what we want? The main issue for whoever is our new government is that there is no money. Just no money at all. If you’re reading this while boiling your water in Devon you might be wondering where that money has gone and have a vague idea, but cash is not about to be splashed.

The new resident at Number 10 will be more likely to increase tax than take it away - as is the privilege of the newly elected - hopefully not in such an obvious manner as to deter spend in hospitality.

The way the new incumbent will stay friends with everyone is by coming up with solutions which cost little, benefit many and play to their strengths: being good at politics. The hope for many is that Keir Starmer will get down off the fence and make friends with the Europeans, helping to ease staffing issues and maybe, just maybe, some supply issues on the side.

In the meantime, time to start opening those advent calendar windows. And while we wouldn’t push alcohol consumption, maybe invest on the one with the tiny spirit bottles - or herbal teas -  it’s going to be a rough campaign.


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