Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, reacted to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement.
Micheal Kill, CEO NTIA Says:
“Today marks two years to the day since we went into lockdown and nightlife businesses were forced to close. Though you wouldn’t know the hell that these businesses have gone through in those two years from today’s statement, which lacked the kind of support the sector needs if it is to fully recover from the pandemic amid an unprecedented cost of living crisis.”
“The cost of living crisis is really starting to bite – millions of consumers are quite clearly going to struggle to pay household bills over the coming months, which will have a direct impact on our industry, particularly independant and SME businesses across the UK.
“It’s also important to be clear about what cost inflation means for businesses in the Night Time Economy: many are likely to reach a tipping point in the next 12 months as they face a perfect storm of challenges. These include the fact that nightlife continues to trade below pre-pandemic levels; that businesses face debt hangovers from the pandemic; all coupled with soaring cost inflation. What should have been a key period to in part recover losses last Christmas was hampered by the fiasco in the message on socialising being communicated by the Government. This has left the sector in a fragile situation as it looks to rebuild, and will mean that much public money that has been spent keeping viable businesses afloat will be wasted if they go under.”
“It is for all these reasons that we called on the Chancellor before the Spring Statement to produce a package that included an extension of VAT & business rates reliefs, a cancellation of the proposed NI hike, and action on businesses energy bills and fuel duty, to allow the sector financial headroom to survive in something resembling its pre-pandemic form. It is very disappointing that today he took none of these steps.”