The government should implement a ten-year phased approach to reducing immigration from the EU to allow time for the recruitment of UK workers, the British Hospitality Association’s election manifesto argues.
The BHA called on all parties to make hospitality and tourism a strategic priority and asks that immigration targets be evidence-based, citing a KPMG report which estimates 60,000 EU workers will be required each year to allow the hospitality business to keep growing.
Other BHA manifesto recommendations are that tourism VAT on accommodation and attractions be cut from 20% to 5% in order to bring it in line with other European countries to create a level playing field; while the National Living Wage be set by the Low Pay Commission and not by political parties.
The BHA also joins other industries bodies in calling for a ”fundamental and immediate review” of business rates systems which disadvantage bricks and mortar businesses.
Ufi Ibrahim, the chief executive of the BHA, said: “We recognise that immigration policy needs to change but we need time to find and recruit UK workers. We have already sent the Government our ten year plan for this to happen and are keen to help the next administration to reposition our industry as a great place to work and use every opportunity to support the sector.”