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Pubs call for energy cost caps to deal with soaring inflation

The George of Harpenden, Hertfordshire

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) has written to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) making the case for critical ongoing support to safeguard the future of UK pubs. 

It said its members are facing “extraordinary” levels of cost inflation with energy costs more than doubling for many.

The hikes come at a time when pubs are only just starting their recovery whilst tackling pandemic-specific debts, minimal cash reserves and ongoing resourcing issues.

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Steven Alton, CEO of the BII, said: “Our members are already facing extraordinary levels of cost inflation in their businesses with more significant rises expected in the coming months. They are unable to simply pass all these costs through to increasingly cash-strapped consumers as they fear this will only further reduce levels of trade.

“Many will have to trade ahead of pre-pandemic levels to simply break-even. They need ongoing support to give them the time to rebuild their businesses, provide certainty to allow them to invest in their businesses and also rebuild their teams. This support is an investment in a sector that has the capacity to be at the heart of the economic recovery and safeguard their essential role at the heart of every community.”

The BII is seeking an interim package of support over the next 12 months to safeguard these essential businesses.

It includes:

– Continuation of VAT at 12.5% for hospitality for the full year 2022/2023

– Suspension of business rates for the full year 2022/2023 accessible to all businesses irrespective of scale

– An immediate and increased duty cut for draught products served in pubs, an increased duty cut of 20% to apply to container sizes of 20 litres and above

– Energy cost caps for pub businesses, recognising that many pubs incorporate homes within the pub premises

Mr Alton said: “These measures will allow our hospitality businesses to start their recovery, enable them to confidently invest in their businesses and provide stability on which they can rebuild their teams with the talent needed, as they move into growth once again.”

Tags : Pubs
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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