UKHospitality has warned that the sector faces a £113m business rates increase next April.
It follows the publication of September’s inflation figures, with the Consumer Prices Index down to 2.4%, from 2.7%, which the Office for National Statistics said was largely driven by lower prices for food and non-alcoholic drinks.
UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “These inflation figures are used to set the annual increase in business rates, and our analysis shows that thousands of businesses will be hit by rises totalling a £113m bombshell.
“Hospitality businesses and the millions of jobs they support are in urgent need of help from the Chancellor in this month’s Budget. They are increasingly struggling from the effects of a disastrous rates revaluation last year and an archaic tax system that is shutting down the UK’s growth engine and resulting in a bloodbath on our high streets.
“At a time when consumer confidence is dipping, now is not the time to pile additional costs on a sector that will result in businesses closing their doors, lost jobs and higher-prices for hard-pressed consumers.
“Business rates is an outdated part of our tax system and UK business urgently requires reform. We call on the Chancellor to announce a freeze in the Budget and introduce a new digital tax to slash the business rates burden on hospitality from April 2020.”