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Autumn 2016: Hospitality Sector in Flux

2016 has been an interesting year for the leisure and hospitality industry.

As we have previously reported, 2016 has been an interesting year so far for the leisure and hospitality industry. With Brexit, a new Prime Minister and Chancellor with different ideas, and an Autumn Statement coming on 23rd November, the next few months – and years – will be critical for workers, restaurateurs, suppliers, customers and investors working in the sector. And it looks like it is going to be interesting, to say the least.

An Autumn Statement full of surprises

According to some sources, Philip Hammond, the new Chancellor, may have as much as £40bn of firepower to announce at his first Autumn Statement, on 23rd November.

His aim will be to develop a plan that encourages growth in the economy through strategic investment, all without damaging the markets' view, according to one expert.

Legal & General Investment Management economist, Magdalena Polan, believes the Chancellor could have an amount equivalent to two per cent of GDP to spend over the next parliament.

This so-called strategic investment will most likely be short-term, meaning that it should impact the economy in this parliament. This could have positive implications for the hospitality industry, as investment in London infrastructure typically delivers higher quality public services such as public transport, better housing stock and the other services that those who work and support the hospitality industry require.

If all goes to plan, investment of this nature won’t just improve the lives of people working in hospitality, however. It will also improve the lives of the general London workforce. This means more cash in pockets and more money being spent in restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs.

EU workers in crisis  

While it sounds like the UK economy might be in for a cash injection leading to positive results, EU workers in the UK hospitality industry might not be about to have such a good time.

In a new plan announced by Amber Rudd, the government will “name and shame” firms that have low numbers of British born employees. This means that companies will be forced to announce how many foreign workers they employ.

In London, 69% of people in the hospitality industry are migrant workers, so it is fair to assume that the businesses that rely heavily on a migrant workforce may be seriously impacted by this policy.

Ultimately, the last part of 2016 could be a bumpy one for those working in the hospitality sector – particularly if the chancellor doesn’t invest as much as we are predicting he will. Therefore, we’re looking forward to the Autumn Statement to see how the situation progresses.

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