New PM’s priority must be economic stability
With Rishi Sunak the new UK Prime Minister, ABTA – The Travel Association has stressed the need for the Government to focus now on bringing stability and providing support through the cost-of-living crisis. Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA – The Travel Association said: “As Rishi Sunak takes up the job as the UK’s third Prime Minister this year, what businesses and consumers now need is stability, clarity, and confidence that we are set on a path to economic recovery. We also need the Government to understand the delicate position the travel industry is in and the support needed. We’ve had a decent summer of trading, but that is on the back of two years of no travel during the pandemic, and consumer budgets are now feeling the squeeze of the rising cost of living.
“Throughout the pandemic, and in the first leadership race, we have been making Sunak aware of the challenges faced by our industry. We’ve also stressed the opportunity a thriving outbound travel sector offers the UK in terms of economic growth. Our latest forecasts show that, with the right conditions, the UK outbound travel industry could grow 15% by 2027, outperforming many other sectors. To harness this growth opportunity, the Government needs to put a framework in place which supports businesses through their continued recovery from the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, and next week’s fiscal statement offers the opportunity to do that.”
ABTA wants the Chancellor to:
- Extend existing retail-based business rates support beyond the end of the financial year April 2023.
- Provide business support to travel businesses that are not based in retail premises, such as tour operators, who have been unable to benefit from existing support mechanisms.
- Work closely with the British Business Bank and lenders to encourage a sympathetic approach to businesses that are struggling to repay COVID debts over the coming months.
- Freeze Air Passenger Duty in the upcoming fiscal statement for the remainder of the current Parliamentary term.
- Recognise travel as one of the industry sectors deemed vulnerable as and when short term fuel support measures come to an end.