Immediate action on energy expected from new PM

The on-trade has stressed the importance for immediate action on soaring energy bills.

Following the announcement of Liz Truss becoming the UK’s new prime minister, the on-trade has stressed the importance for immediate action on soaring energy bills.

Truss, who has replaced Boris Johnson, is expected to react to the calls, with an energy price freeze for businesses and consumers potentially being announced on Thursday 8 September.

The new PM's first speech outside 10 Downing Street included a pledge to commit to urgent action on energy prices for both families and businesses. The pub and bar industry still awaits for further detail.

It has been widely reported that her plans would see energy firms take out government-backed loans, which they would use to freeze or lower bills. The loans would then be repaid from bills over the next 10-20 years.

“The new government must act quickly and decisively to address the soaring energy bills that are facing consumers and businesses," says Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality. "With the right package of support – including a reduction in the headline rate of VAT for the sector to 12.5%, a business rates holiday, the deferral of all environmental levies, the reinstatement of a HMRC Time to Pay scheme and the reintroduction of a trade credit insurance scheme for energy – the sector will be well placed to aid growth through generating jobs and local investment.

"Pre-pandemic, our industry spent £10bn a year in high street regeneration and employed 3.2m people, but with energy bills for hospitality businesses rising 300% on average – and as high as 750% in some cases – we desperately need a package of support put in place if we are to be able to play our part in the UK’s economic recovery and growth.”

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