Reaction from hospitality is best summed up by Nick Mackenzie, CEO of Greene King: “(The) Budget is a much-needed vote of confidence in the great British pub as we face an uncertain winter”, though this is balanced by disappointment the reduction in VAT for hospitality to 12.5% will not continue beyond April 2022.
While the called-for temporary business rates relief is greatly welcomed, the cap of £110,000 will be of limited help bigger pub estates and larger premises and a more fundamental review is needed if hospitality businesses are to survive in the longer term.
Increased spending on skills by 42% to £3.8 billion is welcomed, with money going towards apprenticeships and the Kickstart scheme. However there was nothing in the budget to address labour shortages, although perhaps the reduction in taper rate for universal credit will help.
A new business rates relief to encourage property improvements will mean businesses not facing higher business rates bills 12 months after making ‘qualifying improvements’ to a property.
All in all we hope the budget indicates greater government support for the hospitality sector.
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