UKH: Labour has 'listened to' sector with manifesto pledges

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Job and opportunities: UKH and CAMRA react to Labour manifesto (Credit:Getty/JohnnyGreig)
Job and opportunities: UKH and CAMRA react to Labour manifesto (Credit:Getty/JohnnyGreig)

Related tags Government Legislation ukhospitality

The Labour party has “listened to and acted on” recommendations from the hospitality sector with the pledges made in its election manifesto, trade body UKHospitality (UKH) has said.

Released on Thursday 13 June, the Labour party committed to reforming business rates in a bid to support high street businesses.

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The manifesto also pledged to cut down on antisocial behaviour with more neighbourhood police and implement a windfall tax on oil and gas giants ahead of the general election on Thursday 4 July.

UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “It’s clear [Labour] has listened and acted on [UKH’s] recommendations, which will enable hospitality to continue to create places where people want to live, work and invest.

“We are delighted to see a commitment to replace the broken business rates system and reduce the burden on high street businesses.

“Hospitality pays three times its fair share of rates, as a proportion of its turnover, and lowering the burden can easily be delivered within the first 100 days of an incoming Government through the introduction of a permanently lower rate for hospitality and other high street businesses.”

Jobs and opportunities 

Nicholls added reformation of the apprenticeship levy would also be “transformational” for investment in skills within the sector and help attract more people to the industry.

She continued: “Reform of the levy would, crucially, free up funds to enable the rollout of our successful skills pilot to help people out of work into jobs in hospitality.

“As Sir Keir Starmer said in his message to our conference, UKH has led engagement with Angela Rayner’s team on its plans for workers.

“As a sector that provides jobs and opportunities for everyone across the country, we look forward to continuing that relationship.”

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) chairman Nik Antona also reacted to the manifesto, stating the consumer organisation’s members would be “pleased” to see the commitment to reforming the “outdated” business rates system, which currently “penalises pubs”.

Fairer rates

He said: “Any changed system must make sure pubs no longer pay a disproportionate share of rates and that a new, fairer business rate regime recognises their community value to help keep our locals open and thriving as a vital part of our social fabric.” 

“Whilst it does not feature in the manifesto, CAMRA looks forward to working with Labour MPs in the next Parliament to develop their policy for a ‘community right to buy’ giving local communities in England a right in law to have first refusal on buying privately-owned community assets.

“This would be a gamechanger for people who want to save and take over the running of their local pubs if they are under threat of closure, conversion or demolition.”

Earlier this week voices from across the sector also reacted to both the Conservative​ and Green Party​ manifestos.

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