Cost of living crisis to force pub and restaurant closures amid soaring energy bills

Energy bills rise is a 'world crisis' says Knight

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Energy bills for businesses are set to see an average increase of 300 percent by the winter causing the industry to call for a cut to VAT or an energy price cap. Without support from the Government, industry chiefs from restaurants, pubs and hotels have issued a warning that mass closures are likely to occur this winter.

The Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Boris Johnson were sent a joint letter by leading hospitality experts stating that it is “no less of a threat” than the drought in Britain.

The letter called for “urgent action” to support the industry with energy bills adding that the Government cannot “allow the stasis of party politics to stifle the urgent delivery of action on energy”.

Part of the “urgent action” being demanded is a cut to VAT or the implementation of an energy price cap which households have.

The appeal to the Government for support comes as pubs and restaurants are set to sign fresh energy deals as the old ones expire in the autumn.

Under the new arrangements which are being offered to the hospitality sector, businesses will see an average increase of 300 percent.

The letter to the ministers has been signed by industry groups who represent tens of thousands of hospitality sites across the nation.

The letter warned Boris Johnson and his successor that “not all businesses will be able to survive this onslaught”.

Ministers and hospitality chiefs have been conducting talks for some weeks though Government insiders have revealed that the Cabinet will not make a major decision until the new Prime Minister is selected.

Despite not making any major decisions, the Business Secretary decided to take action to support industries which are energy-intensive such as producers of glass, ceramics, and paper.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy stated on Friday that for those industries it would consider subsidising bills to help save the 60,000 roles in the sector.

Similar support for the hospitality sector has not been indicated as of yet.

The warnings from pubs and restaurants come as charities tackling poverty have called the cost of living crisis and soaring energy bills as “the gravest issue our country faces.”

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As Labour Leader Keir Starmer announced his emergency energy plan he slammed the decisions of the Tory leadership.

Sir Keir said: “We have had 12 years of Tory government that has failed to prepare and refused to invest, leaving bills higher and our country less secure.

“This is a national emergency. It needs stronger leadership and urgent action.”

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