HOSPITALITY ULSTER REACTS TO ENERGY SUPPORT MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY UK GOVERNMENT
21 September 2022
Commenting on the announcement by Business Secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP on energy bill support measures, Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster said:
“It is simply unacceptable that Northern Ireland businesses do not have any detail on how support will be provided. We need urgent clarity on how these measures will be carried forward.
“Thousands of businesses are on the brink with many concerned how they will get through the winter. The cost of energy crisis is a real threat to people’s jobs, livelihoods and businesses. In what should be the beginning of our busiest period, hospitality is instead looking at how to keep the lights on. It is totally unsustainable for business to continue to pay these crippling energy bills as well as contending with a labour shortage and spiralling cost of other overheads including food and ingredients.
“Further support measures including slashing the VAT rate and a business rates holiday are also urgently required to tackle the cost of doing business crisis. We cannot wait any longer for government intervention. Ahead of the unveiling of the ‘Growth Plan’ by the Chancellor on Friday, direct intervention and support for business in Northern Ireland must be announced and implemented. The hospitality industry will have a third consecutive dark winter without it.
“We have no choice but to wait for much needed clarity which will hopefully provide some short-term relief to the hospitality sector in the coming months. We need to allow our businesses to plan ahead and build back to what once was one of Northern Ireland’s leading economic drivers. We are now in a critical situation and cannot wait for long.”