Advantage warns businesses can’t take much more as Govt turmoil causes more uncertainty

By Lisa James
Home » Advantage warns businesses can’t take much more as Govt turmoil causes more uncertainty

Advantage Travel Partnership has criticised the Truss Government for creating even more uncertainty at a time when the industry needs a period of stability.

The consortium issued a statement in response to the latest episode in a chaotic few months, which have seen Boris Johnson step down, then new PM Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng introduce a series of measures that saw interest rates rise and the pound drop in value.

The turmoil has continued over the last few days, with Ms Truss sacking Mr Kwarteng and bringing in a replacement who has U-turned on almost every policy announced in last month’s mini-Budget.

An exasperated Advantage CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said asked: “How much more can businesses take?”

Julia added: “Following two years of detrimental policies that have served to cause huge disruption to the outbound travel industry, this latest Government chaos is creating even further instability to a sector already struggling to rebuild itself after COVID.

“This current economic volatility is absolutely not what we need right now.

“What we need so desperately is a period of stability and certainty to enable business owners to plan for their future and instil consumer confidence.”

Advantage is also concerned that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is to reintroduce VAT-free shopping for overseas tourists, with Julia calling the move ‘a huge knock to small businesses in the UK who rely on the tourist pound’.

“The drop in the value of the pound against both the dollar and the Euro had made the UK and attractive place for tourists, especially in the run up to Christmas, and this reversal of VAT free shopping is just another reason for tourists to take their business elsewhere,” Julia said.

“Inevitably, when travellers are looking at where to visit, they’ll now be more inclined to look at markets like Paris and Milan to do their Christmas shopping rather than visiting the UK.

“We know that tax free shopping is a key motivator for people deciding where to travel.

“This move just means yet more uncertainty for UK businesses and the high street and in reality, risks putting off international visitors to the UK.”

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