Budget 2015 a 'missed opportunity' for events industry

EVCOM CEO Marco Forgione lamented a missed opportunity to recognise the events industry in the Chancellor's budget, but welcomed support for apprenticeships and the IFB 2016.

Marco Forgione: Budget 2015 a 'missed opportunity' for events industry
Marco Forgione: Budget 2015 a 'missed opportunity' for events industry

Chancellor George Osbourne delivered his sixth Budget speech yesterday (18 March), detailing the Government’s spending plans for the year ahead.

While the Chancellor spoke of growth in the economy and record employment in the UK, event professionals were left unsure of the Government’s plans for the events industry.

In November last year, EVCOM pledged its support to the Government's plans for the events industry, however, CEO Marco Forgione believed that the Budget 2015 failed to address the growth of the industry and the positive impact it can have on the UK economy.

Forgione said: "The Chancellor announced a hugely political budget, which is no surprise with the General Election in just 48 days. However, the Chancellor missed an opportunity to recognise that the communication landscape has changed and content creation has moved on substantially.

"The UK is home to the global centre of excellence in business and brand communication, a sector valued at over £40 billion to the UK economy. This sector should be supported an encouraged.

"The Chancellor also missed to opportunity to support business tourism and the live and experiential sector. A boost in business travel would add significantly to the UK economy."

Forgione did however praise the Government for its financial support towards next year’s International Festival of Business, which takes place in Liverpool between 13 June and 1 July 2016.

"I am delighted that the Government has pledged £1.5 million to next year’s International Festival of Business, which EVCOM is pleased to be supporting. This provides a great opportunity for our industry to showcase ourselves to the world.

"The changes to apprenticeships and encouragement for skills development are to be welcomed, particularly as our proposal for an Apprenticeship Trailblazer has been given the Ministerial go ahead."

The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) has called for the events industry to lobby government for increased support and last year wrote to Chancellor George Osbourne for an increase in tax exemption for corporate parties.

More government news:

Government thanks events industry for survey input as it 'finalises report'

Opinion divided as de Bois calls for industry-funded lobby group

BVEP renews campaign for 'Christmas Party Exemption'

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