Help still needed says local MP

Bath MP Wera Hobhouse has urged the government to think again before withdrawing financial support to our high streets.

It’s reckoned more than 8,000 businesses in the South West are facing a huge £37 million energy bill increase once Government support is slashed in April, according to a new analysis from the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

It shows that the average bill increase per business is likely to be £4,510. 

According to official statistics, in the South West there are 8,225 pubs, restaurants and cafes at risk, facing a rise in energy bills by thousands of pounds. 

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. 

The Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to think again. Businesses across the country are worried about the cliff edge they are facing this year and Ministers need to listen to businesses about the risks before they withdraw support. 

Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, commented:

“Countless businesses in our area are facing yet another year of massive financial pressures. Our pubs, restaurants and cafes have endured so much already. People will be devastated to see any more harm to our local high streets. 

“The Government needs to give our businesses the support they need to endure this energy bill catastrophe. Ministers in Westminster must not wait a moment more. 

“The Liberal Democrats are calling for them to intervene and think again about this change – if they do not, we could see thousands of businesses, including pubs, restaurants and cafes going bust. This could be a hammer blow to our communities who have already been through so many challenges lately.”