HU CALLS OUT BOE AND UK GOV OVER INTEREST RATE AND DUTY RISES
22 June 2023
Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Hospitality Ulster calls out BOE and UK Government as interest rate rise with significant duty increases on the horizon.
"Despite our extensive and ongoing engagement with UK Government in partnership with our sister organisation UK Hospitality, it appears that Minister and Treasury officials see our industry as a sad but necessary casualty of their current fiscal policy."
“This is another day when the Bank of England has tried to grapple with sustained high level of inflation despite being told it would be under control by now. Whilst we recognise this is the only tool that the Bank of England has at its disposal, increasing interest rates will most likely drive us into a recession. To the layman it feels like this is intentional, with the deliberate intention to cause business failures, job losses and drive down demands for increased wages- attempting to control inflation through fear of losing your job or causing business failures seems like a very cruel and unfair fiscal policy."
"It is no secret that the impact of high food costs is hurting both the consumer and business with the hospitality sector as they both struggle to make ends meet. Profitability on food within our sector is now at rock bottom and without change will drive businesses to the wall."
"This is going to be made worse at the end of July when significant increases in alcohol duty come into effect, causing government driven inflation as hospitality business struggle to absorb the large duty increases and are forced to pass them on to the consumer."
"Despite repeated evidence-based engagement with UK Government on VAT cuts and business rate reform, the UK Government is hell bent on continuing its current policy and our only hope is that with an election on the horizon, they blink and change course. Until them our industry will be left to fight for survival alone. However, despite hitting the brick wall we will continue to make our case heard as the only other option is give up and leave our industry isolated and further ignored on these and other key asks that will support its sustainability.
"We are not expecting handouts from Government anytime soon, but they need to change course and stop driving further inflation by avoidable tax increases."