Hospitality Ulster welcomes restoration of NI Assembly

13 January 2020

Hospitality Ulster welcomes restoration of NI Assembly

Reacting to the latest news that a deal has been agreed and that the Assembly will be restored, Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster said:

“This is really welcome news that the deal is now largely over the line and a way forward has been agreed, restoring the Assembly after three years.”

“We recognise there are many pressing social issues, such as health and education to address. But there are also pressing economic issues like the challenges presented by outdated liquor licensing, an uncompetitive rate of hospitality VAT, Air Passenger Duty and the highest business rates in the UK, which have been highlighted by the Reval 2020 showing the serious issues around the ‘receipts and expenditure model’ on which rates are assessed in parts of the sector.”

“Many will recall that the bill to reform our licensing laws had already been introduced to the last Assembly prior to its collapse, with much of the heavy lifting in terms of drafting already carried out.”

“We welcome that licensing legislation is contained in the new Assembly deal and we will ensure that the leaders of the five main parties will see through their promise and written commitment to us in making those required legislative changes swiftly and decisively for the benefit of the sector and wider economy. We look forward to getting to work on this immediately.”

“We now seek urgent meetings with incoming Ministers and party spokespeople to move these issues forward with real intent.”