Once the dust settled following the end of voting on 7 May, the UK found it had a new government that was quite like the old government, but not quite. David Cameron’s Conservative Party remained in charge of the country, but now without having to ‘share’ power with Nick Clegg’s Lib Dems.
The hospitality industry on the whole reacted favourably to this result – not so much because of the Conservative Party’s unexpected majority win, but because of fears that another coalition-led government could create uncertainty for the industry.
‘Now the coalition veil has been lifted there is no room for excuses,’ said Ufi Ibrahaim, the chief executive of the British Hospitality Association. ‘The hospitality and tourism industry expect the new Conservative Government to start delivering from day one. Cutting tourism tax to five percent would boost jobs, bring billions of new revenue to the Treasury and directly improve the livelihoods of people in struggling communities across the UK.’
The chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, Kate Nichols, also stated her pleasure in a clear result being obtained, and a Tory win. ‘An incoming Conservative Government, rather than a coalition or Labour Government, potentially favours greater emphasis on voluntary and partnership schemes such as Purple Flash and Best Bar None. Traditionally, the Conservative Party has favoured industry self-regulation as opposed to costly intervention and we welcome this.’
Charles Miers, the managing director of Footprint who are a sustainability lobbying group that represents the hospitality industry, called on the new government to place greater importance on environmental issues.
‘The new Conservative Government, with its pledge to freeze VAT and NI contributions and increase support for start-ups, offers a much needed boost to the industry and to business in general,’ he said. ‘We would like the Tories to place greater importance on hard environmental issues; in particular a more circular economy, sustainable farming and green energy.’
Samantha Hurley, head of external relations at The Association of Professional Staffing companies said ‘We will specifically be pushing for a new regulatory framework that differentiates highly paid, highly skilled professionals, putting them outside the regulation that has clearly been designed to protect vulnerable workers. Allied to this, we will pursue the appointment of a junior minister with a specific remit over flexible staffing – as per our manifesto.
‘We will also welcome the continuation of the work undertaken in incentivising fair and transparent payment practices, and the removal of contractual barriers, which stop businesses from accessing affordable finance, with the aim of working towards tackling the highly-specific issues within the professional recruitment sector.’
The CEO of the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association, Julia Kermode, said she was generally pleased with the Conservative’s victory. ‘They seem to have the better understanding of our sector and seem committed to helping the business community,’ she commented. ‘However, I would urge Mr Cameron and his government to engage with us further and acknowledge the value of contractors and freelancers as he returns to No 10.’
The hospitality industry now seems much better placed to move forwards following the outcome of the election, at least until the next election, due in 2020.