Find out more Spring Budget 2021 Reactions
Please find below statements in response to the Chancellor’s Spring Budget 2021 announcement on 3 March in Parliament.
"I am very pleased to see that the Chancellor has listened to the specific concerns of the hospitality sector and like most of our members I am heartened by many of the measures taken today. The investment in training will be vital for our sector as we look to hire new staff members once overall Hôtel business returns to better levels.
"The extension of the Furlough Scheme is very welcome and will be useful for those hotels who fail to experience an immediate upturn following reopening in May. We were all delighted to see an extension of the 5% VAT rate and without it recovery would be incredibly difficult. A phased increase in the rate is much more preferable than a swift return to 20% but we must continue to lobby for a reduced rate of VAT on accommodation going forwards as we try and recover from the effects of the pandemic.
"The Chancellor has addressed the issue of business rates but we would like to have seen him go further. Hotels have large footprints and therefore very large business rate bills. Many hotels will not have a return to profitable levels of business for some time to come and a full 12 months continuation of the business rates holiday would have been very welcome indeed especially to city centre hotels.
"Going forward we believe it is important to for Government to provide financial assistance in a much more targeted manner across our sector and move away from more broad-brush policies. Our members who run country house hotels will undoubtedly see a significant rise in their businesses as the number of staycations increases - which is extremely welcome. Unfortunately, our city centre hotels (and particularly those in London) face a very different and more difficult year ahead of them. We would ask the Chancellor to help revitalise the cities and support those hotels that will struggle from the acute lack of international travellers for many months to come.
"Following this budget it is very important that our sector continues to strive for a Seat-at-the-Table. There is still much to do in conjunction with the Government to support our incredible industry. It will be so much easier to do this if we have proper representation at ministerial level within that Government.
"We are delighted that the Chancellor has directed his attention to hospitality once again and we ask for our voice to be heard loud and clear.
David Morgan-Hewitt FIH MI, Chairman of the Master Innholders
“While today’s budget has given assurance of continued support in terms of Furlough extension and reduced VAT to September. It also feels no sooner will hospitality be given the green light to reopen, when the repayment of the debt will start. Perhaps too soon for many businesses to be able to operate unsupported.
Kenneth Speirs FIH MI, Hotel Director at Lime Wood
“I can hear the collective industry sigh of relief across the land. Thank you, Rishi!
“Throughout this crisis Chancellor Sunak has supported our industry robustly, preventing job losses from being even greater than they are. His announcements today show a strong understanding of our industry ongoing specific challenges and the desperate need for this level of support.
“The VAT extended 5% rate will be so fulsomely welcomed by all, also the sliding scale for the next 12 months a very welcome approach. How lucky we are to have him in the Chancellor’s chair at this time.
“I was especially pleased to see all the initiatives around recruitment, Apprenticeships & Kick Start measures. If we as an industry use these measures, in line with embracing the Hoteliers Charter, it
could be such a positive time for bringing new talent to our industry.
“It is a good news day for hospitality”
Sue Williams FIH MI, General Manager of Whately Manor
“Overall, we are pleased with the support given to the hospitality industry, there was some nice surprises, not only the furlough extension but the 2/3 business rates reduction from June and the phased increase in vat. The duty freeze is not so significant, but every penny counts!
“At The Langham, we can’t wait for the day we re-open and the start the road to recovery.”
Nicholas Davies, Hotel Manager at The Langham and Chairman of the St. Julian Scholars