Queen's speech provides 'missed opportunity' for sector

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sector needs actions now: Queen's speech on Tuesday 10 May provides 'missed opportunity' for reducing burden on hospitality (Credit: Getty/Weiyi Zhu)
Sector needs actions now: Queen's speech on Tuesday 10 May provides 'missed opportunity' for reducing burden on hospitality (Credit: Getty/Weiyi Zhu)

Related tags: Legislation, Government, Finance

The Queen’s opening speech in the House of Lords yesterday (Tuesday 10 May) proved “an opportunity missed” as the hospitality industry needs “concrete action” to reduce the burdens faced by the sector.

Speaking yesterday afternoon Prince Charles, who spoke on behalf of the Queen ​to officially open Parliament, communicated how her Majesty’s Government needs to work to provide opportunities for small businesses, help people into work and champion international trade as well as sustainable farming and food production.

Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA​) CEO Michael Kill said: “Today’s Queen’s Speech had important aspects but is still a missed opportunity as far as the Night-Time Economy is concerned.

“It was welcome the Government focused on the cost of living and the economic picture facing businesses, but there was a dearth of solutions that will provide meaningful relief to consumers and businesses.

Debt hangovers 

“In truth, what is needed is an emergency Budget. The Chancellor says he is waiting until there is less volatility in the markets before taking a decision on intervention, but the truth is that might be much too late for large parts of our sector.

“Businesses are facing soaring energy bills and still have debt hangovers from the pandemic and are being forced to put up their prices even while they know, that as the cost-of-living crisis increasingly bites, consumers will be looking to cut down on their monthly expenses and nights out are likely to be among the first things they choose not to spend on.”

Notable bills from Tuesday’s speech include Brexit ​freedoms, pavement licenses​, Levelling up, and tackling the energy and cost-of-living crisis with the Prince of Wales stating her Majesty’s ministers will support the Bank of England to return inflation to its target and drive economic growth to improve living standards.

Furthermore, it was confirmed the planning system will be reformed to give residents more involvement in local development.

Though trade body UKHospitality (UKH), stated regulatory reliefs for the sector were needed as soon as possible to help businesses stay afloat.

Unshackle businesses 

UKHospitality (UKH​) CEO Kate Nicholls said: “There’s plenty in today’s address that will unshackle our businesses to better enable them to create growth.

“History shows us hospitality is capable of driving growth across the nation, being in every village, town and city it is uniquely placed to deliver the Governments priorities and drive levelling up, generating jobs and economic growth.

“It must be recognised, however, the measures in today’s speech will do little to bring immediate relief to the pains hospitality businesses are feeling in the short term, so we urge the Government to ensure regulatory reliefs come as soon as possible, to help struggling businesses stay afloat.

“It is encouraging [the] Government is taking action to simplify and update the business rates system but this needs to be combined with concrete action to reduce the overall burden of rates on hospitality.”

Related topics: Legislation

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