York business leaders call for clarity over government energy help

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BUSINESS leaders in York have called for more clarity and support after the government announced its energy package on Thursday.

They welcomed the support given to households, notably capping bills at £2,500, but wanted more detail on what support was coming to the business sector.

Businesses do not have their energy prices capped, unlike households, and as they renew their energy contracts, some are receiving increases of 500 per cent or more.

The government announced a six-month scheme for businesses, charities, and public sector organizations like schools – “equivalent support.”

After this six-months scheme, it will “provide ongoing, focussed support for vulnerable industries.” A review in three months’ time will determine who would be targeted for help.

Andrew Lowson, executive director of York BID, welcomed the £2,500 cap, saying people would know how to plan their spending up to 2024.

“It’s worth noting that £2,500 will still be a big ask for the most vulnerable in society, so we will see some reduction on consumer spend.”

However he added: “The support for businesses is less clear and underwhelming at present. Businesses need certainty and confidence. There is none of that as far as energy bills is concerned and no reference to VAT or business rates, which is the other main asks.”

He added: “More clarity and tangible support will be needed from the government quickly, otherwise I fear many businesses will feel they will not make it through the winter. If there is no further news, some will make those decisions quickly, rather than pile up debt.”

Adam Wardale, chairman of the Hospitality Association of York, called it “great news” to see the £2,500 for households, “which is what everyone has wanted to see.”

“Hopefully, that will keep some money in the pockets of consumers.”

However, he was “disappointed” over support for businesses.

“There’s no concrete figures. There’s no mention of other areas business is asking for over VAT and business rates,” he added.

Rebecca Hill, chair of Indie York, similarly welcomed the £2,500 cap for households, saying it would leave households with some money to spend. She also said “there was not enough details.”

Helen Heraty, owner of Grays Court Hotel, also called for more details, saying businesses are in a difficult situation.

“We have a pincer movement. People will have nothing to spend. We ourselves are facing unsustainable price rises.”

Fellow hotelier, Simon Mahon, general manager of the Grand Hotel, York, said it was “good to see understanding of the immediate challenges”. But clarity was needed for the longer term and measures to tackle ‘economic headwinds’ such as lower VAT, lower business rates and easier VISAs for EU hospitality workers.

Mark Casci, head of business representation and policy at the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said the six-month cap for non-domestic users will give businesses and others “financial certainty heading into the winter.” The three-month review point would also help with planning.

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Suraj Sewatkar
Suraj Sewatkarhttp://sktodaysnews.com
Hi !!! This is Suraj Sewatkar, a blogger by hobby and HR by profession. I like to learn new things and go to new places. I am a website developer and have developed a number of websites and blogs on Blogger as well as WordPress as well with 3 years of experience in the HR field

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