2017 Predictions

2017 Predictions: BII says there is no doubt the year ahead will be tough

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Change: BII CEO Clist said the industry needs to change its image
Change: BII CEO Clist said the industry needs to change its image

Related tags: Pubs code, Business rates revaluation, Tax, Public house, Government

British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) CEO Mike Clist has told The Morning Advertiser there is no doubt 2017 will be a tough year for the sector.

A big factor will be the business rates revaluation in April​ where a quarter of pubs are likely to see their rates soar, he said.

He added: “There’s no doubt that 2017 will be a tough year, not least come April when pub operators face [business] rate rises averaging 15%, following the Government’s rates revaluation​.

“This will heap even more pressure on pubs that can already ill afford yet more increases, critically at a time when economists warn of a squeeze on living standards.

“A study commissioned by the British Beer & Pub Association from Oxford Economics found that pubs pay the second highest amount in terms of rates per turnover​.

“While the Government has put forward some measures to offset the blow, nearly half of all the pubs in the country will see a hike.”

Clist urged the Government to rethink the tax pubs have to fork out on in a long list of rising costs.

Rethink the overall tax burden

He said: “The Government needs to understand that if they want the pub industry to thrive – one that continues to attract millions of visitors to our country – they need to rethink the overall tax burden that falls so heavily on them.

“The rates revaluation just adds to the ever-longer list of escalating costs, including the national living wage​, the new apprenticeship levy​, and charges associated with the many forms of red tape.”

However, Clist did mention positive highlights of 2016 which will impact next year such as the implementation of the pubs code, which he hailed a success.

He said: “I would like to celebrate the success of the pubs code​, which does now mean that our members, the licensees, are able to evaluate rent on a free versus tied basis.

“As the pubs code​ becomes embedded into the fabric of the industry, it will allow pub operators to become far better informed about their options in 2017 – and I predict that this is going to be a very good thing.”

Clist continued on the positive theme as he explained the BII’s plans for the new year and how the industry’s image needs to change.

Industry image change is imperative

He said: “Through the launch of its new ‘Workforce’ membership for pub staff next summer, the BII will successfully reach out to new and young employees coming into the trade.

“It’s imperative that our industry changes its image as one that’s only fit for part-time, temporary work.

“We want mums and dads to be as proud of their child getting an apprenticeship​ in the hospitality sector as they would if they chose engineering or manufacturing.

“Our sector is exciting and vibrant with pathways leading from entry level to highly successful, well-paid, fulfilling professions, and the BII’s new Workforce membership will play a crucial role in engaging with, supporting and encouraging young people to develop careers across our sector.

Related topics: Other operators

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