Collaboration key to tackling environmental issues
The ALMR today welcomed the Government’s acknowledgement of the hospitality sector’s innovative measures to reduce the environmental impacts of its operations.
Following the Prime Minister’s launch of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, the association also committed to promoting further good practice across hospitality, though warned that consumer behaviour, rather than taxation is key to progress.
ALMR Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls, said Our sector has been impressively proactive in addressing the environmental impacts of its activities, as the plan published today rightly recognised. Measures implemented voluntarily by eating and drinking out businesses, such as those on straws and stirrers, and loyalty points rewards bonuses for customers with reusable cups, have proved hugely effective in reducing environmental impacts and increasing reuse.
It is this sort of actions that are changing consumer behaviours. That is where the solutions lie, not in taxing businesses already under significant commercial pressures, or deposit return schemes that place extra burdens on venues.
We will keep on engaging our members on important environmental issues and will feed into the forthcoming consultation, working proactively to reduce the use of plastic and to promote recycling. We will also continue tackle litter and boost recycling through education and investment in capacity.
ALMR urges Government to resist tourist tax
The ALMR has warned Bath and North East Somerset Council it should proceed with caution before seeking Government approval to implement a tourist tax.
The Association has also urged the Government to resist granting the powers to impose the levy and has highlighted the importance of the need to consult affected businesses before progressing the matter further.
ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The consequences of implementing a tourist tax in the city are far from clear. Even a modest increase in costs for customers could have unforeseen and potentially harmful consequences.
“The Lyons Inquiry warned against the introduction of a tourism tax for good reason, and advocated consultation with businesses before proceeding with any such measure. The Government should heed those recommendations, as the impacts would likely be far and wide, with local authorities across the country seeking to capitalise on a new source of revenue, and no clear measures in place to safeguard against a levy being imposed and raised with impunity.
“We urge the Council not to increase costs for hospitality businesses that already contribute enormously in the way of taxes. Hospitality businesses are already facing significant costs increases, particularly business rates bills, that are crippling many venues. Bath’s hospitality businesses will still be feeling the impact of the recent revaluation and another tax will just exacerbate cost pressures.
“If measures are to be taken forward, then they need to be done with close engagement of Bath’s hotels and hospitality businesses to assess the cost implications of such a move.”
Action on hospitality labour shortage highlighted by GLA report
The ALMR has reiterated its calls for a constructive future immigration policy, following a report citing hospitality as an area of labour shortage concern.
The Preparing for Brexit report by Cambridge Econometrics, for the Greater London Authority, identifies hospitality as a vulnerable sector with 32% of hospitality jobs in the capital (79,000) being carried out by non-UK EU workers.
ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The report highlights the important contribution being made by EU nationals to the capitals hospitality sector and the difficulties businesses would face should they be unable to access labour from the EU.
“The Government has already made a commitment to EU nationals living in the UK, but it is crucial that any future immigration policy reflects the need for hospitality businesses to employ non-UK workers.”