MP debate shows support for hospitality sector

A recent debate by MPs in Parliament - in response to a petition calling on the government to create a minister for hospitality - highlighted the 'overwhelming support for the sector and need for additional supportive measures', according to trade body UKHospitality.

The petition, which gained the 100,000 signatures necessary to trigger a debate in Parliament, before more than doubling that figure this year, has been based on the online campaign #SeatAtTheTable.

“There was a clear and highly encouraging demonstration of strong cross-part support for an extension of the VAT cut and the business rates holiday," comments UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.

"These are going to be crucial if we hope to see businesses survive the year. Announcing an extension of both of these policies, at the earliest possible opportunity, will provide some much-needed stability for our sector and allow businesses to begin planning. Equally clear is that a great many MPs recognise that this additional support will be necessary if the sector is to survive and lead the national revival.

“It was incredibly positive to hear so many MPs being vocal advocates of the hospitality sector. There was unanimous recognition of our importance economically and socially. It was particularly pleasing to hear parts of the sector like nightclubs, wedding venues and conference centres being lauded - businesses that have not grabbed headlines in the way that other sectors have, but are no less important, as the debate recognised. There was also welcome recognition for our critical supply chain.

“It is striking that, in the end, the petition got more than 200,000 signatures. We all understand the importance of what we do and it is good to see the government recognise the importance of working closely with the sector to ensure that we are properly supported, not just during this crisis but more generally.”