Organisation: Labour Party
Type: Press Release
Date: 22 June 2023
Rising prices have left cafés, pubs and hotels cutting back on costs, including being forced to restrict staff hours. It comes as Labour revealed the toll of food inflation on Britain’s businesses and families with food prices in Britain rising faster than France, Germany and the US.
New analysis from Labour has revealed 300,000 businesses have been forced to cut hours directly as a result of inflation. 17% of hospitality firms have reported reducing staff work hours due to price rises.
The analysis comes as Labour set out plans to get Britain’s high streets back on track by reducing business rates, cutting energy bills, dealing with empty shops and stamping out anti-social behaviour.
Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, said:
“Over the last 13 years, this government have failed to secure our economy, failed families and failed businesses. Hard working families will be seeing shift hours reduced while business owners are forced to make impossible choices because of the Government’s failure to secure our economy.
“Labour will back high street firms, cutting business rates and taking action on energy bills to deliver the economic security our businesses are crying out for.”
Labour’s plan for high streets
Cut business rates: high street businesses shouldn’t face big tax hikes whilst online giants are let off the hook. Labour would cut business rates for small businesses on the high street, paid for by properly taxing online giants. Our policy would be worth over £2.6k to the average pub, café or restaurant.
Cut energy bills: many beloved high street businesses face an uncertain future due to spiking energy bills. Labour will help them cut their bills for good with vouchers for energy efficiency measures – such as double glazing at a local cinema, a new heat pump in a café or an electric vehicle for a takeaway.
Stamp out late payments: high street firms shouldn’t be forced to wait months to be paid for work by big clients. Labour would introduce tough new laws to stamp out late payments and make sure more money gets to high street firms.
Revamp empty shops: people won’t visit high streets blighted by unsightly boarded up shops. Labour will give councils strong new powers to bring empty shops on their high streets back into use.
Tackle anti-social behaviour: people should feel safe when they go out to shop, eat or have fun on their local high street. Labour will get 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs back on our streets and introduce tough new measures to crack down on anti-social behaviour that blights local high streets.
According to the latest wave of the ONS’s BICS survey from earlier this month, 17% of businesses in accommodation and food service activities reported having to cut staff hours due to price rises.
5.5% of all businesses reported needing to do this. Using the ONS’s business population estimates from last year, Labour estimates this amounts to 302,826 businesses.
Wave 84, BICS business insights survey, Office for National Statistics, June 2023, https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/economicoutputandproductivity/output/datasets/businessinsightsandimpactontheukeconomy
Business population estimates for the UK and regions 2022, Office for National Statistics, October 2022 [latest available data], https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/business-population-estimates-2022/business-population-estimates-for-the-uk-and-regions-2022-statistical-release-html