Live entertainment industry organisations have called on the UK Government to take urgent action to support businesses that are set to be stung by rocketing energy bills this winter.
A survey by the Music Venue Trust found that about 30% of its 941 venues are facing the threat of permanent closure without a solution to the impending crisis. The MVT’s member venues are being forced to contend with an average 316% increase in energy bills – up from £1,245 to £5,179 per month.
Meanwhile, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has said that the sector faces collapse without intervention.
NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said: “Billions of pounds of public funding spent during the pandemic could be wasted if the Government cannot get a handle on the current cost of inflation crisis, energy bills have increased over 300% for over 80% of businesses within the night time economy.
“The current climate would see this crisis take more businesses to the point of failure than the pandemic. As we move towards the colder months, where energy consumption increases, we will see costs spiral out of control.
“The next few weeks are critical, and will require swift action from the new Prime Minister taking over.”
Unconfirmed reports suggest Liz Truss, who is the overwhelming favourite with the bookmakers to become the UK’s new Prime Minister on September 5, is mulling a 5% cut in VAT across all industries.
UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin is among the industry’s influential figures to have led the calls for a cut in VAT from the current 20% whilst also urging the Government to extend business rate support.
According to UK Music, the broader energy price cap – which was increased on Friday by regulator Ofgem by 80% for households – does not apply to businesses. Further increases are likely in the coming months.
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