Chancellor's party bonus

16 June 2005
Chancellor's party bonus

Event and catering companies can expect to see a business boom this Christmas, as corporations planning their festivities begin to take advantage of Gordon Brown's party allowance.

The increased interest in lavish and extravagant Christmas bashes comes as awareness increases of the Chancellor's 2003 budget ramifications, which raised the tax free allowance from £70 per head to £150 for parties.

Michael Aldridge, head of events at Madame Tussauds, which conducted the survey, said: "It's interesting to see how companies are taking advantage of it. People are upgrading their packages by choosing top-quality food and opting for fun extras such as chocolate fountains, live stage shows and entertainers."

Damian Clarkson at Red Snapper Events said caterers and events businesses could expect to see a change this Christmas.

"You can get an awful lot more for £150 and it is really important for companies to have these events. It will be a boost to the hospitality business," he said. "Before people would have had a traditional Christmas dinner and silly party hats, now people are being a bit more creative and this is great news for us."

Pieter-Bas Jacobse, managing director of Rhubarb Events said the take up would allow companies to opt for more original party concepts.

He said: "We usually start getting bookings for Christmas parties in September and I'm pretty sure demand will increase. Hopefully with the higher budget we will see more room for elaborate parties and this will be a real boost for business."

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