Wednesday, December 7, 2022
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British boozers on the brink! Rishi Sunak urged to take immediate action over cost surge


Unlike households, UK businesses have received no Government help to cover rising costs. There are concerns many great British pubs are not at risk of going under as a result of the spiralling bills.

The Chancellor is facing calls to act now to introduce a “£470million emergency pub fund” to help ease the burden facing locals.

The Liberal Democrats, who are calling for the extra measures, want to see ministers commit to giving hospitality businesses a £1,500 grant towards their energy bills.

They also want to see the Government partially reverse its hike in VAT to reduce the cost of pints and encourage more Britons to visit their local pub.

Last month VAT for hospitality venues was returned to a rate of 20 percent having been temporarily lowered to 12.5 percent during the pandemic.

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The Lib Dems are pushing for the tax rate to be reduced to 17.5 percent, which they say will cut the price of a pint by an average of 8p and save pub-goes £189million over the course of a year.

The party’s Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper told Express.co.uk: “Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have left businesses to struggle under the weight of spiralling energy bills.

“Now countless treasured local pubs are finding it difficult just to keep the lights on.

“The Government must create an emergency fund to support our struggling pubs with their energy bills, and slash VAT to help them get more customers through the door.

“Liberal Democrats have a strong record on campaigning to save our pubs, bars and restaurants.

“They form the heart of our local communities.

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“The Conservatives have taken the hospitality sector for granted and this May we have a chance to send them a message and make them listen – look after our locals.”

The Lib Dems say their plan could be paid for via a one-off windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas producers.

Households across the country saw their energy bills skyrocket by as much as 54 percent at the start of this month due to the increase in the cost for wholesale gas and electricity.

The energy price cap was increased by the equivalent of £700 for “typical” levels of energy consumption.

Ministers have since introduced an emergency package to help lower the increase and help families struggling to meet the costs.

Businesses are not covered by the price cap and have not been offered extra support by the Government.

Energy experts Cornwall Insight have predicted that business gas bills have risen by 250 percent on average.

The Treasury did not respond to a request for comment.



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