Earlier this week Jeremy Hunt delivered his Spring Budget – something which he referred to as a ‘Budget for Growth’. Most of the headlines were grabbed by initiatives designed to get people back into work – something that the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors have been calling for.

Despite some major investment and significant changes in relation to boosting the size of the UK workforce, I think it is fair to say that the response so far to the Budget as a whole from the sector has been lukewarm at best - particularly due to the disappointment in relation to the lack of new support in terms of rising energy bills and business rates.

Here's a summary of some of the significant changes announced that could have an impact on the sector:

Employment - attracting new workers

The Government proposals designed to help encourage people back into the work place could widen accessibility to the labour market and reduce some of the barriers to attracting staff into the sector. In particular:

Changes to and expansion of state-subsidised childcare, particular for parents receiving universal credit – This may help recruitment of staff if they have been unable to work due to cost of childcare.

£400m plan to include availability of mental health and muscular skeletal resources and expand individual placement and support scheme – this may be beneficial for staff who have been struggling with back issues or stress related absences, making it easier for them to return to work and reducing levels of time out of the workplace

Expansion of training programmes and 'returnerships' could help attract a new demographic of worker into the care sector


Bar an announcement that chefs and hotel managers were to be added to the Occupational Shortages list - which may make the development of new facilities a smidge less challenging - there was no real news on the immigration front.

This is probably not a surprise, given that a far-reaching rules change was announced earlier this month. You can read more about these changes here.

Our employment team is running a webinar on business immigration challenges and how to tackle them on Wednesday 29 March - the sign up sheet can be accessed here, if you would like to take part.

Corporation Tax

The double-blow of the hiked rate of corporation tax coinciding with the end of the super-deduction feared by UK businesses did not materialise.

Moving away from the already promised increase in the rate of corporation tax to 25% from April 2023 proved to be a step too far for a Government already plagued by U-turns, but the blow was softened by the retention of the “super-deduction”.

The super-deduction allows businesses to deduct the full cost of investments from their profits as soon as they spend the money and is considered essential to encourage much-needed investment by businesses.

Qualifying expenditure could include:

  • machines such as computers, or printers
  • office equipment such as desks and chairs
  • vehicles such as vans,
  • patient handling equipment, such as hoists or lifts
  • some fixtures such as kitchen and bathroom fittings and fire alarm systems

The new £9 billion package will remain in force for three years, with a promise to make it more permanent as soon as it becomes responsible to do so.

Draught Relief

The most significant announcement for the hospitality sector was the extension of draft relief from 5% to 9.2%. This means that the duty on an average draft pint of beer served in a pub not increase when the freeze on alcohol rates, ends later this summer.