255 hospitality businesses in Oldham are facing a combined energy bill increase of more than £1M (£1,091,860) once Government support is slashed in April, new analysis from the Liberal Democrats has revealed.
The analysis shows that the average bill increase for each business is likely to be £4,282.
Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE said, “Our pubs, restaurants and cafes have endured so much already in recent years, so for them to have support withdrawn by the same Conservative government that has caused this cost-of-living crisis? That will come as an insult to people who are working flat out just to stay afloat. They are also a lifeline for those who use them in terms of their mental well-being amongst other things.”
The Government initially capped the cost of business energy, but from April they are replacing that scheme and will instead just pay a small proportion of businesses’ increased costs. This means many pubs, cafes and restaurants will see a 90% cut in help from the government. According to official statistics, in Oldham there are 255 pubs, restaurants and cafes at risk.
Councillor Sykes said, “This could rip the heart out of our communities in Oldham Borough. Business owners are worried the cliff-edge they are facing if the government doesn’t change course.”
“The government must think again and ensure that meaningful support with energy bills stays in place for hospitality businesses,” he added.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for the government to think again. Businesses across the country are worried about the cliff edge they’re facing this year and Ministers need to listen to businesses about the risks they are facing before they withdraw support.