Spring Statement: no help with energy bills 

There’s help with Employers Allowance and the National Insurance threshold, revealed by the Chancellor in the Spring Statement, as salons face huge rises from 1 April  

Stack of pound coins sat on twenty pound notes

Calls from the personal care sector for an energy bill rebate have fallen on deaf ears as the Chancellor revealed his Spring Statement (23 March).  

Energy regulator Ofgem is raising its energy price cap to £1,971 a year for the average household on 1 April in Great Britain, meaning salons can expect their energy bills to increase again. The increase is a concern for the industry as hair salons are one of the biggest energy users of all small businesses, and follows on from the previous energy price cap rise in October last year. 

A collective of personal care sector organisations had called for a rebate similar to that offered to domestic properties in February to be made available to commercial properties.   

The collective, including the NHBF, BABTAC, British Beauty Council and Hair & Barber Council, surveyed members to assess the seriousness of the current situation. The findings from 1,774 businesses showed:  

  • 94 per cent said utility bills have increased compared to this time last year, with 32 per cent stating energy bills are their largest overhead and a further 50 per cent stating it is their second greatest overhead.  
  • 41 per cent said they seen bills rise by 51 to 100 per cent, while 10 per cent had risen by 101 to 200 per cent.
  • 57 per cent have attempted to switch supplier but 70 per cent had been unable to renegotiate their current contract with their existing supplier.
  • Almost half of businesses (47 per cent) have reduced business costs to be able to afford increasing utility bills, such as reducing stock purchasing and reducing staff and personal wage costs.
  • 82 per cent have taken other steps to reduce their energy costs – including turning down heating, turning off lights more frequently and turning off sockets at the end of each day. Some businesses also reported closing the salon for a day a week to save costs.

Elsewhere in the statement, there was an increase in employment allowance for small businesses and an increased National Insurance threshold have been revealed in The Chancellor’s Spring Statement. 

The employment allowance for small businesses rose to £5,000, a tax cut worth up to £1,000 for half a million small firms. The National Insurance threshold is increasing by £3,000 this year, up from a planned rise of £300. This equalises the NI contributions threshold with the personal income tax allowance of £12,570, but won’t come into effect until July. 

 

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