Kerridge is calling for “some form of energy price cap” for business and for domestic users and a reduction in VAT across all industries - a call echoed by UK Hospitality in a letter to Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.
In the letter, chief executive Kate Nicholls wrote: “Hospitality businesses are facing a crisis this winter, with soaring costs combined with a sharp drop in disposable incomes for our customers. Without support, the industry will see widespread business failure, leading to tens of thousands of job losses, persistent scarring to high streets and damaged social mobility.”
“Employing more than 2.5m people, including some of the most sensitive to price increases, hospitality businesses must continue to trade so that staff can continue to pay their bills, but face enormous energy cost increases while having to light, air-condition, heat, chill and cook.”
Nicholls adds: “Support has rightly been committed to households, but more must be done to help businesses, particularly SMEs, that are at risk of failure due to no fault of their own. Hospitality businesses had their resilience severely strained during the pandemic and are not able to weather the worsening storm they now face. Immediate intervention in the commercial energy market is essential to avoid dire consequences.”
“Hospitality is critical to the nation’s recovery from Covid, but it needs support to get through this current crisis, and as quickly as possible.”