Autumn statement 2022

‘Energy prices crippling vital and viable businesses’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Government announcement: Chancellor Hunt made his Autumn Statement in the House of Commons today (Thursday 17 November) (image: Getty/	Raylipscombe)
Government announcement: Chancellor Hunt made his Autumn Statement in the House of Commons today (Thursday 17 November) (image: Getty/ Raylipscombe)

Related tags Legislation Government ukhospitality British institute of innkeeping

A number of trade bodies have reacted to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, which said there would be a “targeted approach” to help businesses with energy costs later in the year.

Addressing the House of Commons today (Thursday 17 November ), Jeremy Hunt outlined the Government’s plans to aid with the ever increasing prices for consumers and firms.

He said: “The Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) will be maintained through the winter, limiting typical energy bills to £2,500 per year.

“From April 2023, the EPG will rise to £3,000. With prices forecast to remain elevated throughout next year, this equates to an average of £500 support for households in 2023-24.”

For businesses, he mentioned there would be help coming on energy in 2023 but didn’t not clarify exactly what that would entail.

Targeted approach

Hunt said: “Before the end of this year, we will also bring forward a new targeted approach to support businesses from next April.”

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said the Chancellor painted a grim picture of what the nation is facing with hospitality businesses “already in the midst of severe economic turmoil”.

She added: “It was also encouraging the Chancellor confirmed energy support will continue post-April for the most vulnerable sectors of which, hospitality has already been recognised.”

Furthermore, the British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin warned 2023 would be difficult.

She said: “Without lower beer duty or detail on whether energy costs will dramatically increase early next year, pub and brewers will still be forced to continue to make incredibly difficult decisions.

“The last thing they want to do is increase costs for their customers; they want to remain a place of solace, warmth and community, especially now, when the country needs them most.”

Crippling businesses

British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) CEO Steve Alton criticised the energy scheme for businesses.

He added: “Energy price rises are crippling these vital and viable businesses and while the current Energy Business Relief Scheme (EBRS) offers some support for many, it is having a limited impact in terms of mitigating the huge cost increases they are bearing.

“The scheme only addresses a discount on actual energy usage, and other increased costs such as management fees and standing charges mean that bills have risen in real terms by well over 200% and in some cases up to 700% in comparison to 2021.

“Our essential bricks and mortar businesses must be recognised as extremely vulnerable, and while we await the review of the EBRS scheme at the end of this year, we will continue to take the financial realities for our members to key Government departments, making the case for the ongoing, meaningful support that is urgently needed.”

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