Britain’s new PM urged to ‘act quickly’ to help travel
Travel organizations have called on new UK Prime Minister Liz Truss to be ‘innovative’ and ‘act’ quickly as businesses grapple with rapidly rising energy bills.
Current Foreign Secretary Truss won the vote to become the new leader of the ruling Conservative Party on Monday September 5 and will officially succeed Boris Johnson as Britain’s new Prime Minister when she meets the Queen in Scotland on Tuesday September 6 september.
Major travel associations have praised Truss, but they’ve also urged her to act quickly in response to double-digit inflation and a looming huge rise in business energy bills.
Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association (BTA), said: “This is a serious time for our country and we urge the Prime Minister to be innovative to meet the challenges ahead. Work with industries such than travel, transport and hospitality to make Britain prosper again.
“We look forward to working with your new team and advocating for business travel’s vital contribution to our economy.”
Mark Tanzer, chief executive of British travel association Abta, said it was “now time for action” from the new prime minister after a long leadership campaign over the summer.
“As things stand, members have no protection against rising bills – they are feeling the impact now, at a time when they are still trying to recover from the worst two years in the history of industry,” Tanzer pointed out.
“It is particularly important that this government take into account the extreme pressure that small and medium-sized businesses are under.
“Introducing a cap on energy tariffs for businesses, extending support for business rates and providing more flexibility with the repayment of business loans taken out during the Covid crisis are all things the government should consider to help businesses weather the cost of living crisis.”
UKHospitality also welcomed Truss’ election but called for a package of measures to protect the sector from “crushing cost increases”.
“The new government must act quickly and decisively to tackle the soaring energy bills facing consumers and businesses,” added Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality.
“With the right set of support measures – including a reduction in the overall VAT rate for the sector to 12.5%, a suspension of corporate rates, the deferral of all environmental taxes, the reinstatement of a program HMRC Time to Pay and the reintroduction of a trade credit insurance scheme for energy – the sector will be well placed to support growth by creating local jobs and investment.
“We desperately need a package of supports in place if we are to be able to play our part in the UK’s economic recovery and growth.”
Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO of The Advantage Travel Partnership, said she hoped the travel industry “would not go unnoticed” by Truss’s new government.
“The enormous economic and social importance of the travel industry is having a ripple effect on many local industries and communities, alongside the thousands of small businesses that are currently evaluating how to keep the lights on throughout this winter,” added Lo Bue-A said.
“At Advantage, we will continue to raise awareness of the issues facing the industry and we will do all we can to make our voices heard, while supporting our members through what will continue to be very difficult times.”