Fish and chips could soar ABOVE £20 after mini-budget: Chippies warn of more price rises as Chancellor’s relief package offers little to help struggling industry faced with rocketing fuel bills and 75% rise in cost of cod
- Price might increase from £10.20 to £16 by January, one chippie owner warned
- A 50 per cent increase could see fish and chips costing more than £20 in London
- Shop owners said Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini budget didn’t help struggling industry
- Fears that fish and chip shops might close due to rising costs of fuel, fish and oil
A fish and chips supper could soon cost more than £20, with chippies warning that their prices are set to increase by more than 50 per cent in the next few months.
It comes as takeaway owners have criticised the lack of support provided to small businesses in today’s mini-budget and pleaded with the government to help their struggling industry.
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng put forward a series of tax-slashing new measures when he took to the floor of the House of Commons this morning.
And among the eye-catching announcements was a decision to fix corporation tax at 19 per cent, while restricting the basic rate of income tax to the same low figure.
But Steven Dhillon, whose family owns the award-winning Fisherman’s Bay chippie in Whitley Bay, said these measures would do nothing to help his business, which is struggling with the rising costs of fish, oil and energy.
‘We are having to increase our prices,’ Mr Dhillon said. ‘But also take a lot on our own shoulders. We can’t pass it all on because we attract a lot of return customers and we have already noticed that fish and chips is becoming a less frequent meal. It is becoming a once in a blue moon treat.’
He said that a standard fish and chips supper which a year ago cost about £8 has now increased to £10.20. And by January he fears they might have to increase the price to as much as £16.
Fish and chip shop owners have criticised Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget today for not doing enough to support the struggling industry (stock image)
And with many places in the capital already charging £15 for a standard fish and chips, a 50 per cent increase could see Londoners having to pay more than £20 in a matter of months.
Andrew Crook, president of the National Federation of Fish Friers, slammed the government today for helping ‘bankers, not bakers and financiers, not fish friers’.
Reflecting on today’s announcements – which included a commitment to remove caps on city bonuses – he said the budget had ‘missed the mark completely’.
Mr Cook said: ‘This was the opportunity to take the pressure off small business, because it’s not just a job for us, it’s a way of life.
‘But they’ve missed the mark completely with this budget.
‘The whole of hospitality was looking for a reduction in VAT and reforms to make sure the system changes going forward, and we’ve not had.
‘And unfortunately, they’ve looked after bankers rather than bakers and financiers rather than fish friers.’
Andrew Crook, president of the National Federation of Fish Friers, (pictured) criticised today’s announcements, saying they had failed to take the pressure off small businesses
Andrew, who also owns Skippers chip shop, in Euxton, Lancashire said he remained hopeful that the government would offer more help later in the autumn.
But he was concerned that many chip shop owners would go to the wall over the winter period, after the price of cod rocketed by 75 per cent on top of bills increases.
He said: ‘It’s easy for bigger businesses to keep acquiring businesses and expanding, but we can’t. We’re just about keeping our head above water.
‘I was looking forward to planning a promotion to help lift the industry out of where it is now, but we’re now expecting a bleak period after Christmas.’
Richard Coleman Ord, 29, who is the fifth generation in is family to run his family fish and chip shop said the budget was ‘nowhere near’ what was needed for the industry.
He said: ‘For small enterprises it’s disastrous. I think there was a huge focus on large businesses and the growth of the economy through them.
‘But on a whole for smaller businesses, it’s left us quite isolated. We’ve been let down quite badly.’
He added: ‘It’s alright to reduce tax rates but you have to make money to pay taxes, and there are a lot of us that won’t be in business for much longer.
‘It’s really, really extremely serious out there, and we need help for the small family business. At the moment, we’re not receiving any.’
Steven Dhillon, whose family owns the award-winning Fisherman’s Bay chippie in Whitley Bay (pictured), said the price of a standard fish and chips might have to increase from £10.20 to as much as £16 by January because of rising costs
Richard said he was lucky that his chip shop, Colmans, in South Shields, had its energy price plan in place for the next 18 months.
But he said rises in the prices of ingredients had still made trading extremely choppy during the cost of living crises.
He said: ‘The potatoes, the fish, the oil, all the commodity prices have gone up beyond our wildest dreams – even though we’ve been in business for 60 years.
‘The only way we could offset that, including energy, would be the reduction in VAT and business rates, like they did for the pandemic.
‘It should be the same for this crisis because to be honest with you, it’s worse than the pandemic. It’s far more serious for businesses than the pandemic ever was.
Richard also said measures announced by the government to uncap bankers’ bonuses had left a ‘bad taste’ in the mouths of many small businesses.
He said: ‘It puts a bad taste in people’s mouths.
‘I understand the thoughts of it – bringing growth into certain sectors – but again it’s targeting large businesses and higher earners.
‘For the majority of people looking for relief and help – if anything – it feels a little bit thrown in your face, and we feel let down.’