MPs vote in support of minister for hospitality
MPs voted in support of the motion to create a minister for hospitality during an hour and a half debate in Parliament yesterday.
Although the type of debate means there is no guarantee the position will be created, the outcome will put pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to consider the role further.
Currently the responsibility for hospitality is shared between the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEISS) and the Department of Culture Media and Sport.
UKHospitality welcomed the debate saying it highlighted the overwhelming support for the sector and the need for additional supportive measures.
The debate on support for the hospitality industry was made possible when a petition, calling for the creation of a minister for hospitality, gained the 100,000 signatures necessary to trigger a debate – before doubling that number.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “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. 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.”