Meetings might sail by for the UK

Shipping Group P&O Ferries, which employs 4,000 people in
Britain, says it might cut
its investment in the UK if
the government fails to resolve a row
over backdated business rates to the tune of £5m.

With low-cost carrier Easyjet slashing services at Luton airport and
closing its East Midlands base, this move could
squeeze events reliant on the short hop across the channel.

“Although business travel is around five per cent of our business,”
says P&O’s Brian Rees. “Our route network is about 10 million passengers a
year so we have business travellers very much in
mind.

“What we do have is a business operating on extremely tight margins and we are urgently
trying to find ways to save £13m. It is impossible to be specific but it is
blindingly obvious that it would impact on investment and
jobs.”

In
a letter to the former Treasury
minister, Angela Eagle, P&O urged the government to resolve “this highly unsatisfactory
situation”.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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