By Denis Sheehan MIH, Editor, H&C News: IoH CEO calls Kwasi Kwarteng to highlight hospitality concerns over soaring energy costs.
Institute of Hospitality CEO Robert Richardson FIH has taken the unprecedented step of writing to Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng on behalf of the more than 14,000 members of the institute, to highlight their concerns about spiraling energy costs in the UK.
Over the past few weeks, the IoH has received a mountain of emails and phone calls asking for advice and support on what can be done to help businesses pay their energy bills, as the UK’s economic situation continues to deteriorate.
Richardson reflected on the crisis, telling us, “The pressure on our industry is increasing every day. We are already facing the challenges of a shortage of skills, a shortage of supply and the rising cost of living, all of which have a constant impact on the viability of our industry.
“As winter approaches, the voices of our members grow louder.
“Our members, made up of professionals in sole proprietorships, SMEs and FTSE 100 companies, are seriously concerned that a current lack of planned support measures to support their businesses in these difficult times will lead to business closures, loss of jobs and livelihoods.
“At the Institute of Hospitality, we have a responsibility to our members, to support them and make their voices heard. We have therefore been forced to ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to advise us on what support can and will be made available before more hotel businesses are forced to close.
Kellie Rixon, FIH MBE and Chair of the IoH Supervisory Board, is clear on the motivation behind this increase at government level: “It is at times like these that our hotel family must stand together and demand changes. We support our members who are speaking out to help our businesses and people survive this coming crisis. »
Peter Hales FIH, IoH College of Fellows, managing director of hotel management company, Michels & Taylor sees the crisis clearly and thinks the solution is obvious: room rates and persistent staff shortages. All this when the consumer’s wallet is squeezed like never before.
“The hospitality industry must be prepared for a potential downturn in spending, especially as the fall approaches. It is simply not possible or viable to increase prices enough to offset extreme levels of rising costs that we are seeing just about everywhere.
“The pandemic has shown how vital the hospitality sector is to the economic health of the UK, but our industry is now facing an unprecedented set of circumstances and I do not yet see a plan or support from the from the British government. A reduction in professional rates and the reintroduction of reduced VAT would be a start. We need to see action and we need to see it now.
The letter to Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, is below.