Autumn Statement 2013: Help hoteliers embrace green tech to cut costs

 

As part of our preview of Autumn Statement 2013, Judith Dugdale, corporate services director at Moore and Smalley, offers her thoughts on what government can do to boost the leisure and tourism industry.

 

With rising energy prices being a particularly huge overhead for hoteliers, I’d like to see some specific initiatives announced aimed at reducing energy costs, be that freezing prices or offering further encouragement to introduce green technology like biomass boilers.

 

We have a number of clients who have introduced such technology which can pay for itself in a short timeframe and add thousands to the bottom line.

 

Although there are already a range of incentives for introducing green technologies, most notably the Renewable Heat Incentive, I would like to see the chancellor be clear about what is going to happen to the tax relief available under the Annual Investment Allowance come the end of 2014.

 

Surely the increased allowance of £250,000 has to be maintained if the coalition is to send out the message that it is helping businesses invest for growth.

 

In a wider context, capital allowances are vital to leisure businesses that need to continually reinvest in their properties to maintain the the quality of their product offering.

 

Many leisure sector groups have been calling for a reduction in the rate of VAT for hotel, pub and restaurant businesses. The recent tax parity protests raised awareness of this issue and countries like France have shown how such a move can boost the economy without undue harm to tax intake.

 

However, this is almost a definite no due to the ongoing debt and deficit issues. For those reasons, I expect this autumn statement to be more about tinkering than anything radical. –