Press Statement – Calling All Political Parties: Don’t Forget About The UK’s Curry Industry? Our Votes Matter

Oli Khan, MBE, President of Bangladesh Caterers Association (BCA), the UK’s largest organisation representing 12,000 UK curry restaurants and takeaways, speaks out about the apathy from the political parties towards his sector. BCA has heard nothing from any of the candidates, especially Starmer or Sunak to convince BCA members that their vote matters. BCA has now seen both of the manifestos from the two main parties and while both commit to looking at the unfair burden of business rates on business and reducing the burden on high street businesses, there’s nothing specifically outlined for the UK’s curry industry, which is a unique part of the overall hospitality sector.

Curry houses and takeaways can be found on every high street and are at the heart of every community in the UK. But sadly, like the rest of the UK’s hospitality industry, the UK’s curry restaurants and takeaways across the country are facing challenging times since Brexit and the pandemic. Where BCA has seen many established and successful Indian cuisine restaurants decide to close their doors. The cost of running a curry house today, along with the lack of experienced chefs and hospitality staff, and high VAT, now outweighs the costs of operating this type of business.

Oli Khan MBE, President of BCA says – “Till now I and the rest of BCA have not seen any political party recognise our value. It’s worth remembering that pre the pandemic, we were an industry that contributed £4.2 billion per year to the UK’s economy. Our industry must make its concerns known to politicians of all parties. We will be asking them as they campaign to support this vital industry.

We need to see all political parties recognise our sector’s significance and contribution to gross domestic product and employment. We need to see the real evidence of measures that can unlock the potential of our industry to do more and put us back to where we were in 2019. We need four key political promises:


  1. Immediate review of the salary threshold of migrant workers, which has risen to an exorbitant Skilled Worker salary threshold of £38,700 per year, a huge increase from £26,200 per year currently and impossible for any small business.
  2. Invest in apprentice schemes to nurture the next generation of curry chefs, including the investment in training creating more jobs and further upskilling the workforce.
  3. Immediate action to lower the tax burden on the curry industry.
  4. Immediate initiatives that give us greater access to hospitality staff as Brexit has curtailed access.”

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