'Overnight our energy bill is going to go from just under three thousand pounds to nearly twenty-three thousand pounds a year'

The  Staff Canteen

Pig and Whistle Owner, James Allcock, has called for an energy cap for businesses and a relaxation of business rates after revealing his energy bills are expected to rise by 700%.

In a statement on his Instagram, James outlined the situation that he and many businessowners face following a rise in energy bills and inflation.

Speaking about his statement to The Staff Canteen, James explained: “Overnight our energy bill is going to go from just under three thousand pounds to nearly twenty-three thousand pounds a year, so it's essentially a twenty-thousand-pound increase.”

He added: “To put that into perspective, for a business like mine, we don't even take that amount of money in a month. That's now gone from one of our smallest bills to our third largest bill, so just under our VAT, it's essentially the joint second largest bill in the restaurant behind our wages.”

Commenting on measures he’d like to see introduced, James said: “It's obvious, we need a business energy price cap and that needs freezing at yesterday's rate not tomorrow's rate.”

He added: “If they freeze my bills at twenty-three grand, I'm not going say thanks for it just because it was going to go up in January again. They need to freeze bills at a level that is affordable in commercial settings, not just residential.”

 

When asked about other measures to protect UK hospitality James explained: “They need to reduce VAT on food to at least 5% and on alcohol to 10% for wet lead pubs that got left behind and the last range of measures.”

He added: “VAT for hospitality has been overtaxed for years we've been campaigning for this before the word Covid even existed. Restaurants overpay on VAT every day of the week; this is a new solution to an old problem.”

A CHANGE IN LEADERSHIP

With Liz Truss being named Boris Johnson’s successor and Britain’s new Prime Minister, many are hoping for an end to in-action for government and the introduction of urgent action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

When asked what Liz Truss’ appointment meant for the industry, James highlighted a lack of previous action in the past but ruled a general election now was not the right course of action.

“I think if you look at the government as a whole, Liz Truss aside, they clearly don't want to engage with hospitality because if they did, they would have put a hospitality minister in place when everyone was crying out for it in Covid,” explained James.

He added: “I don't think it's time to start calling for a general election. I think that's suicide to have another four months of campaigning. You've got to get behind Liz Truss but that doesn't mean I am for her. I will judge her on what she does not on what I think.”

ACTION FROM WITHIN HOSPITALITY

With industry leaders calling for urgent measures to counter inaction from government, James argued that hospitality is more united now than it’s ever been before, arguing the industry should be represented by a minister in government.

“I think they do listen when we do beat the drum and that's why for the last 48 hours I've been as vocal as I can because they can't ignore us all, so I do think we're already all on the same page,” explained James.

Regarding a hospitality minister, he said: “I do feel it’s very strange that we don’t have a hospitality minister, given how much we contribute to the economy, in tax, in PAYE, in just how many properties we occupy on the high street.”

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th September 2022

'Overnight our energy bill is going to go from just under three thousand pounds to nearly twenty-three thousand pounds a year'