UKH announced its priorities for the next 12 months in its new year message.
UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Hospitality businesses will be hoping this year brings some respite from the endless price rises that have plagued the sector over the past 18 months.
“What’s becoming more apparent is that, despite falling inflation, government action is still needed to bring costs down and allow hospitality businesses to reach their potential.”
She continued: “We have a clear three-point plan that will deliver both those objectives: generate investment through root-and-branch reform of business rates, create jobs through apprenticeship levy reform and drive economic growth through a lower rate of VAT.
“With a general election set to take place in 2024, this clear plan will be our focus with all political parties to ensure hospitality is at the front and centre of policy making.
“Hospitality is clearly one of the most strategically important sectors in the economy – contributing £93bn to the economy, employing 3.5m people and generating £54bn in tax revenues for the Treasury.
“With the potential our sector has for growth, it’s essential we receive the support and investment needed to achieve our goals.”
Continue to feel the pain
Last month, the trade body warned a proposed increase in the business rates multiplier in 2024 will add extra pressure on operators despite a fall in the rate of inflation.
Nicholls said at the time: “Consistent reductions in the overall rate of inflation is good news for the economy but it will feel far from reality for hospitality businesses.
“Venues continue to feel the pain of energy, food and drink costs that continue to rise at a far higher rate.
“This will be compounded in April when business rate rise yet again for the vast majority, putting further pressure on consumers prices and risking an unwanted inflationary spike.
“We are urging the Government to reconsider its decision to put up business rates by more than 6% in England and instead use the forecasted April rate of inflation of 3%, which would relieve some pain for businesses.”