Reduction in level of energy support 'extremely worrying'

    Following the announcement by the Treasury that the Energy Bill Relief Scheme would be extended for 12 months but at a significantly reduced rate, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said:  

    “We are very disappointed by the Treasury’s announcement which will mean a dramatic drop in extended energy support relief for pubs come April. 

    “Whilst the Government has accepted the need for continued energy bill support for another 12 months, the reduction in the level of this support is extremely worrying and comes at a time of acute pressure on pubs.  

    “We welcome the recognition of breweries as energy and trade intensive and this will help alleviate some of this pressure in our sector, but we have been clear with Government about the continued vulnerability of businesses across our industry and the ongoing challenges pubs and breweries face. We are aware of the pressure that public finances are under, but energy costs are the single biggest threat to the industry right now to once strong healthy businesses.    

    “Significant price increases will be the last straw for businesses who have been struggling for three years to remain solvent and serving their communities. We urge the Chancellor to continue to work with us in looking at how additional support can be provided to particularly vulnerable businesses across the UK that mean so much to so many but could close because of the energy price crisis.  

    “It is also vitally important that the Government works with the regulator to crack down on supplier bad practice, which continues to increase their energy costs and hamper many businesses in our sector. ”