opinion

When will Gov recognise sector’s value?

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Finance facts: The MA's Ed Bedington highlights how the sector has helped drive economic growth
Finance facts: The MA's Ed Bedington highlights how the sector has helped drive economic growth

Related tags Finance Legislation

The news that the UK appears to have dodged the recessionary bullet in 2022 thanks to unexpected growth in November was a welcome bit of news for economy watchers.

It was 0.1%, but hey better than nothing. But the detail that really stood out for me particularly was the fact some of that growth was attributed to people watching the World Cup in pubs and bars.

You would hope that fact would send a signal to those in power of the importance to pubs and bars to the economy – we have talked about it enough and shouted about it enough. 

Sink or swim

One in £3 spent across the bar goes straight to the exchequer after all, and that’s a considerable source of revenue for a Government that is currently having to check down the back of the sofa to see if there’s any spare change.

Yet despite all these facts, the scale of employment in the sector, the revenues raised, the importance in society, we still see a sink or swim approach from a Government that appears to place little value on the hospitality industry.

We helped to drive economic growth when all economists were predicting a nose dive into recession. If that doesn’t illustrate the importance of this sector to the powers that be, I don’t know what does.

Support reduction

But instead we see energy support cut at a time when businesses are starting to fail as the utilities bills start to land.

If the Government were serious about getting the country out of the mess it has pretty much single-handedly driven us into, they could start by thinking about how they could supercharge the hospitality sector to help spearhead that recovery.

Let’s start with some simple tax reform and give the operators a little bit of breathing room, a more level playing field and the chance to do what they do best, and help lift the nations spirits and keep that faltering economic growth alive.

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