UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “With hospitality businesses continuing to struggle with vacancies running at 56% higher than pre-pandemic levels, the measures announced today are significant in incentivising people back into work and hopefully alleviating crippling labour shortages. The wider economic forecasts also give us encouragement that consumer confidence and spending are in for an upturn, albeit over time.
“The significant reforms to childcare and the measures to help the over 50s re-enter the workforce are both areas on which UKHospitality has been calling for action and we’re pleased the Chancellor has recognised the help it can offer tackling the enormous vacancies in hospitality.
“Maintaining current levels of energy support to consumers, freezing fuel duty and inflation reducing will help hard-pressed households and increase disposable income, which will be a huge boost for venues in desperate need of trade.
“This will be particularly needed as the sector is still set to see huge energy price increases when current support ends in April, which unfortunately was not addressed. It remains the case that we need to see urgent action on the market failures identified by Ofgem in its non-domestic review update yesterday. The current timeline of further action by the summer is not good enough.
“The reduction in draught duty is positive and we hope this will incentivise more visits to our pubs, restaurants and hotel bars. Addressing draught duty is a good start and I would urge the Government to consider rolling out this type of tax cut across the wider drinks market.
“With duty primarily paid by suppliers, such as breweries, it’s essential that any benefit is passed through to venues to help deliver the Government’s objective of reducing inflation and growing the economy.”
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