Meetings Industry Association responds to the Summer Economic Update

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the Meetings Industry Association (mia) said:

"The Meetings Industry Association (mia) welcomes the Chancellor’s support to the hospitality sector in today’s summer economic update by reducing VAT to 5% on food, accommodation and attractions, as part of the government’s plans to kickstart the UK economy.

“However, as once again the events sector that contributes £70billion to the economy supporting over 700,000 highly skilled jobs wasn’t noted specifically, we await further clarification as to how or whether the gesture will be extended to business meetings and events.

“While we recognise that the government’s furlough scheme cannot be extended indefinitely for all, it was extremely disappointing to hear that there will be no exceptions – particularly for those sectors in most need. Instead it will finish for all on 31 October, which is another blow for our sector.

“The one glimmer of hope for business meetings and events is the positive news that employers who bring their employees back from furlough, will be rewarded by the new job retention policy. The £1,000 bonus may help delay some inevitable redundancies, allowing the sector a chance to get a clearer idea of how well business is going to recover, before implementing cuts.”