Hartlepool hospitality chief urges Government to help struggling chippies

A Hartlepool hospital chief has called on the Government to slash VAT to help struggling chippies.

Friday, 17th June 2022, 9:43 am

Darab Rezai, chairman of Hartlepool Licensees Association, described the current 20% charge as a “killer”.

Mr Rezai said: “I understand the price of fish has gone up £100 per box in six to eight months from £130 to £230.

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Darab Rezai.

"Vegetable oil has doubled putting extreme pressure on a lot of the food outlets especially the fish and chip shops.”

He added: “I think that the Government can help if they want to. If they cut VAT that would benefit everyone – customers and businesses.

"We think that that 20% VAT is the killer for everybody.”

Between October last year and the end of March this year VAT was 12.5% after being cut to help businesses during and recovering from the pandemic.

There are fears in the industry that a third of the country’s fish and chip shops could close due to the pressures.

Mr Rezai also believes the UK should become more self sufficient for food and fuel, with recent big increases caused by the war between Ukraine and Russia.

Sanctions imposed on Russia at the end of March meant price rises across the global seafood industry.

“This country is a farming country but 11% of wheat comes from Ukraine,” he said. “A lot of fish comes from Russia.

“It seems Russia has got everybody to ransom. They are playing games with people’s lives and livelihoods.”

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