Energy support delay 'disappointing news'

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Disappointing news: energy support for businesses announcement delayed until 2023 (Credit: Getty/seanliew)
Disappointing news: energy support for businesses announcement delayed until 2023 (Credit: Getty/seanliew)

Related tags ukhospitality Bbpa Government Legislation Finance

The delay to an announcement on extended energy support for businesses is “disappointing” and leaves many facing “crippling” bills as well as an uncertain start to 2023, according to leaders from across the sector.

Earlier this week, the Government stated details regarding the future of extended energy support for businesses would be postponed until the New Year despite assurances an announcement would be made before the end of 2022.

UKHospitality (UKH) CEO Kate Nicholls said: “The Government’s postponement of an announcement on future energy support until the New Year, comes at a time when businesses are facing rising bills and rates that fluctuate daily.

“Operators thus need urgent clarity in order to make business critical decisions for 2023 and, in the meantime, we urge OFGEM to continue to pressure energy suppliers to deal fairly with commercial customers and to clamp down on poor practices and unfair terms.”

Disappointing news 

Additionally, Nicholls shared via Twitter the postponement was “disappointing news”.

Wholesale gas and electricity prices had previously been fixed for businesses from October until March 2023, though this help is now under review due to the cost.

This follows a report​ from the British Beer & Pub Association earlier this month that warned many pubs and breweries would be forced to close for good without an extension to the Energy Bill Relief Scheme amid “crippling” bills.

In a social media post on Twitter following the report, BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “We need long-term assurance on energy and fairness in the market. Costs are still crippling pubs and brewers and without an extension to the scheme many businesses will be forced to close.”

Difficult time 

However, in a more “welcome” statement, as well as the delay to the energy support announcement, the Government also confirmed a duty freeze​ on alcohol until August 2023.

Nicholls added: “Any inflation-linked hike in alcohol duty would have heaped further pressure on the sector and, ultimately, a six-month delay is good for businesses and good for consumers.

“These changes, coupled with duty reform, should also mean a reduction in duty for draught beer and is a good example of smart regulation helping businesses.

“It’s essential now that drinks producers also recognise this freeze in their own pricing to support their hospitality customers at this difficult time.”

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