Filling stations are extremely worried about soaring energy costs, said Gordon Balmer, Executive Director of the Petrol Retailers Association.
“While we are encouraged by the Government’s recognition of this issue through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, we are concerned that it will not be enough to mitigate the long-term effects of price increases.”
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Liz Truss announced a cap to energy costs to help businesses with soaring energy bills for a six-month period, starting on 1 October.
“I would urge the Government to extend the six months of support to a year for forecourts as they are essential to the functioning of the UK’s economy. This will give relief to our members and lower the chances of forecourts closures, which could be devastating for many communities who rely on the fuel and food they supply.”
Gordon Balmer urged to extend Government support in the form of the energy price cap to forecourts to a year, with the option to renew for an additional year, adding, “By extending relief, the Government can ensure fuel resilience and give the energy market time to stabilise.”
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has announced that from 6 November a 1.25% rise in National Insurance will be reversed. Additionally, it was revealed that the corporation tax rise was cancelled, keeping it at 19% rather than increasing to 25%.
“The reversal of the National Insurance contribution and the corporation tax hike are welcomed by the PRA. This will help our members during these critical times. A few days ago, PRA wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer urging government’s intervention to support forecourts businesses.”
In a further move to grow the economy, the Chancellor announced plans to accelerate new roads and rail.
New legislation will cut barriers and restrictions, making it quicker to plan and build new roads.
“The promise to accelerate infrastructure projects is applauded by the PRA. Forecourts around the UK will benefit from an upgraded road system, and it will help deliver a high-growth economy in the future.’
Balmer concluded, “We are however deeply disappointed in the Government’s failure to address the business rate that is due to expire in April 2023. The rising bills had a huge impact on businesses and the discount has been of crucial support for our members.”
The PRA will continue engaging in dialogue with the Government to ensure that support for petrol filling stations continues.