What should the new PM make a priority?

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Government decision: the result of the leadership contest is set to be announced in September (image: Getty/RichVintage)
Government decision: the result of the leadership contest is set to be announced in September (image: Getty/RichVintage)

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With Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak fighting it out to become the next Conservative Party leader, we want to know what you think should be a priority for the next PM to concentrate on to help to the sector.


What should be the immediate priority for the new PM?

  • Business rates

  • Beer duty

  • Energy prices

  • VAT

  • All of the above

  • Other


In a previous poll by The Morning Advertiser ​(MA​), Sunak was preferred to be the next Prime Minister​ ahead of the foreign secretary Liz Truss.

The MA ​​asked ‘which of the final two PM contenders do you think would be better for the pub sector?’

Of the 105 votes, 61% were in favour of Rishi Sunak and the remaining 39% opted for Liz Truss.

Business rates

Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged to cut business rates​ if he is elected, it was revealed last week.

This was followed by commercial estate agent Colliers calling for the Conservative Party leadership hopefuls to reform business rates​ and rule out a phased downwards transition to cut tax and save the high street.

Just this month (August), the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) wrote to the Government​, highlighting the impact the energy crisis is having on its members.

In addition, procurement firm Regency Purchasing Group said the sector was now in the middle of a ‘perfect storm’ amid rising costs and predicted thousands of pubs were at risk of closure over soaring utility bills​.

Calls on Government

Managing director Alex Demetriou said: “Until recently, a typical pub was spending about £2,000 a month on utilities but businesses renewing their contracts are seeing their monthly costs increase to about £7,000.

“That is an extra £60,000 a year on utility bills alone. Many village and community pubs do not make £60,000 profit in a year so the utility bills crisis alone is the difference between making money and losing it.

“In addition, pubs that serve food are either seeing further challenges with not being able to recruit the staff they need, forcing them to close their kitchens, either for several days a week or in some cases, closing them entirely.”

Furthermore, trade bodies across the sector urged the Government to “act decisively and swiftly”​ in light of a looming recession and rocketing inflation.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Our sector is a massive potential driver of growth and employment but is ladened with debt, has a mammoth staffing crisis and, due to inflation and energy prices, is seeing consumer confidence and discretionary spend evaporate.

“The Government and Prime Ministerial candidates must clearly set out how they will tackle the cost of doing business – the cost of living won’t come down without it – and explain how their plans will help consumers and the economy through this winter and beyond.”

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