Michelin-starred chefs and publicans have joined industry CEOs from more than 230 companies in signing an open letter to the chancellor calling for urgent support ahead of this month’s Autumn Statement.
Tom Kerridge, Monica Galetti, Tom Aikens and Jodie Kidd were among the chefs and publicans included in the letter, which was backed by more than 230 companies including Burger King, Travelodge, Marriott International, Fuller’s and Green King.
The letter was created by UKHospitality as the UK’s hospitality industry faces the potential of an additional £1bn business rates bill in April 2024, unless the Chancellor freezes business rates and extends the current relief package at the Autumn Statement.
The open letter reads: “The most important step at this stage is to avoid an increase in business rates. The sector faces a near £1bn tax hike from April 2024. We urge you to freeze the business rates multiplier, extend the 75% hospitality relief and extend the cap to at least £2m. Business rates support can cushion the sector from these costs while allowing us to invest – in our people and our places.”
Tom Kerridge, Michelin-starred chef, said: “The hospitality industry has taken a beating in recent years, yet pubs, bars and restaurants all across the nation continue to go above and beyond to provide memorable and outstanding experiences to everyone that comes through the door. As an industry this is what we love to do.
“The stark reality for many businesses, however, is that with rising costs and ongoing challenges, time is running out and without further support from the government they will shut their doors. That’s why I fully support the calls being made by UKHospitality to the chancellor in this letter.”
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKH, added: “It’s imperative that the chancellor listens to our collective calls for support and takes clear action at the Autumn Statement to extend the current relief measures for a further year to protect the vital community assets that make up the UK’s vibrant hospitality sector.
“Hospitality is at the heart of our communities and it’s essential we do all we can to protect businesses in the sector and the value they bring, from driving economic growth to creating jobs.”