Halving energy support reports ‘extremely worrying’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Action needed: the Campaign for Real Ale called on the Government to provide extra help in the March Budget if energy support is to be cut (image: Getty/gerenme)
Action needed: the Campaign for Real Ale called on the Government to provide extra help in the March Budget if energy support is to be cut (image: Getty/gerenme)

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Reports the Government is planning to reduce the energy support for the hospitality sector have sparked concern.

It has been reported that energy support for the sector could be halved​ from March, which the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) warned could result in businesses struggling to turn a profit as well as further shuttered sites.

CAMRA chairman Nik Antona said: “The prospect of energy bills massively increasing from April this year will be extremely worrying for hospitality businesses – particularly community pubs, social clubs and small breweries and cider producers that are vital for consumer choice and a thriving beer scene."

Extra support

He added: “The cost of goods and employing staff continues to rocket and customers are tightening their belts. Many businesses wonder how they will be able to turn a profit if energy bill support is halved.

“If this cut is announced next week, then the Chancellor’s Budget in March will need to provide extra support for hospitality businesses if we are to avoid the nation’s beloved pubs and breweries facing the threat of permanent closure.

“It will be vital venues get more help with the burden of business rates and for the new, lower rate of duty charged on draught beer and cider to be introduced as quickly as possible to help pubs and small, independent breweries compete with the likes of supermarket alcohol.”

Government meeting

A number of the trade bodies met with the Chancellor (Wednesday 4 January) to outline the challenges currently facing the sector and to highlight the importance of energy relief help in order to reduce the chance of business failure and further closures.

One of these was the British Beer & Pub Association and chief executive Emma McClarkin said energy costs were the “single biggest threat to our industry right now” and urged the Government to extend the scheme or “risk losing businesses across the country that mean so much to so many”.

This followed night-time adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord calling for a strategy from the Government on how businesses can survive the upcoming predicted cost hike.

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