Gov responds to ‘extinction event’ energy crisis

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Price hikes: many pubs are reporting energy costs rocketing by more than 100% (image: Getty/Pekic)
Price hikes: many pubs are reporting energy costs rocketing by more than 100% (image: Getty/Pekic)

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The Government has responded to the current crisis of rocketing energy prices facing the pub sector, stating it will 'carry on supporting the industry'.

It outlined previous support it had provided for the sector including through the coronavirus crisis.

A Government spokesperson said: “No national Government can control global factors pushing up the price of energy and other business costs but we will continue to support the hospitality sector in navigating the months ahead.

“That includes providing 50% business rates relief​ for businesses across the UK, freezing alcohol duty rates on beer, wine, cider and spirits and reducing employer national insurance.

“This is in addition to the billions in grants and loans offered throughout the pandemic.”

Failure predicted

While households will benefit from the energy price cap, it is understood businesses are excluded due to no evidence found that firms were being deliberately charged excessive prices by energy suppliers.

This comes after research by The Morning Advertiser ​(MA​) revealed more than 70% of operators were anticipating their business failing by the end of winter​ without the Government stepping in.

Over six in 10 (65%) reported hikes of more than 100% in utility costs while just under a third (30%) said bills had risen by 200% with a further 8% have seen increases of more than 500%. Furthermore, almost 80% stated they couldn’t afford the increase in energy costs.

Outrageous increases

MA ​editor Ed Bedington said: “This crisis is being described as an ‘extinction event’ for hospitality and that’s no exaggeration.

“Increases of the kind we’re seeing are totally untenable and need to be addressed now, not in a few weeks’ time when the Conservatives pick a new leader.

“Businesses are already struggling to recover from the strains put on them by the pandemic and the many lockdowns. As the results of our survey show, the outrageous increases will be the final straw for many businesses.”

Meanwhile, consumer organisation the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) invited the two Prime Ministerial candidates​ to discuss rocketing energy prices, soaring stock costs and falling consumer confidence.

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) joined the calls and urged the Government to introduce an energy price cap for small businesses as well as grants and incentives for firms looking to brew with green energy. 

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