With the UK General Election taking place in just a matter of weeks on 4 July 2024 and the leading parties having released their manifestos, we have summarised below some of the main policy promises that would impact the Hospitality & Leisure sector.

Staffing & Associated Costs

Staffing and costs associated with staffing continues to be a pressure point for businesses in the Hospitality & Leisure Sector.

With a lot of younger staff being employed within the hospitality sector, an increase in the lower age bands of the minimum wage may impact hospitality business depending on the makeup of their workforce. Whilst an increase in the national living wage helps to support young people in the workforce, it does increase business costs, both directly and via a knock-on effect, driving up salaries within the rest of the business.

See below some of the highlights from the manifestos.


The conservative party proposes a cut to national insurance contributions by 2% and to abolish national insurance for self-employed individuals by the end of the next Government. Their manifesto is light on business tax policies, with no specific incentives for businesses, and their pledges focus on commitments to maintaining existing regimes, reliefs, and tax incentives for businesses.

The party proposes to retain zero-hour contracts while adding protections for employees against exploitation of certain zero-hour contracts. The party also promises to continually review minimum wage on an annual basis.


The Labour Party’s manifesto, has no mention of any significant tax cuts that would benefit businesses nor any significant tax cuts for employees. They have proposed to remove the age bands from the minimum wage, and to make the minimum wage a “real living wage”, but are silent on the amount that this real living wage would be.

Labour proposes a ban on ‘exploitive’ zero-hour contracts and phasing out the contracts, as well as other employment rights such as ending fire and rehire and ensuring workers have basic rights to paternal leave, sick pay and protection from unfair dismissal from the start of a job.

Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats have said they would raise the tax-free allowance, and abolish the apprenticeship levy with a broader skills levy.

Whilst the plans seem to provide some added protection for employees, it is disappointing that there does not appear to be an appetite to help businesses with the wage burden via tax incentives, such as a reduction to employers NI.


Business Rates

Business rates continue to be a significant cost for businesses in the sector and it appears this is being acknowledged by some of the main parties given their manifesto points.

With business rates relief set to end in March 2025, the sector is hoping for a review and reform which will help ease the burden of business rates on a more permanent basis.

See below what has been proposed.


The Conservatives manifesto includes measures to reform certain planning laws and simplify the process for obtaining certain approvals, thereby potentially reducing costs.


Labour said they would increase speed and reduce costs by setting out new national policy statements and update national planning policy.

Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats propose to develop planning infrastructure with an increase in funding.


Although tax cuts for businesses would be welcomed, it appears as though the main rate of corporation tax will likely continue at 25% so businesses for the foreseeable future which will have some consistency in estimating future tax charges. Labour have indicated they will publish a “roadmap to business tax” if they are successful so there is no guarantee that the rate will remain unchanged for long.

It appears that companies can assume they can continue to claim 100% of costs incurred for the on qualifying expenditure incurred on renovation projects (e.g. hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars etc) for the foreseeable future, thereby reducing profits subject to corporation tax by claiming the Full-Expensing capital allowances.

The Conservatives have said that they will continue to review the VAT registration threshold of £90,000 but there is no mention, in any of the main manifestos, of a reduction in the rate of VAT for Hospitality, despite the fact that the sector has been campaigning for this for some time.

If you have any queries regarding the 2024 Election, and how it may impact your H&L Business, please get in touch with us below:

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