Sam Collins, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Hitchin & Harpenden, has criticised the government for leaving local businesses facing huge rises in energy costs.

The government has been capping per unit energy costs for businesses, but this will end in April, with a discount being offered instead. Per unit energy costs for households will continue to be capped.

According to analysis by the Liberal Democrats of data from Bionic and the Office for National Statistics, the end of the price cap for businesses will mean 150 businesses in the Hitchin & Harpenden constituency face, on average, a £4,334 increase in their annual energy bills.


Cllr Collins said: "Once again the Conservatives seem determined to give pubs and restaurants in our area a very hard time.

"They had inadequate support during the lockdown, and for a long time have had to deal with a deeply unfair business rates system, now the Government is failing to help them with rising energy costs.

"As a result countless businesses in our area are facing a cliff edge this year. Our pubs, restaurants and cafes have endured so much already, people will be devastated to see any more harm to our local high streets.

“The government needs to give businesses around here the support they need to endure this energy bill catastrophe.

“Ministers in Westminster must not wait a moment more. Liberal Democrats are calling for them to intervene and think again about this change - if they don’t we could see thousands of businesses, including pubs, restaurants and cafés going bust. This could rip the heart out of our communities.”

Bim Afolami MP was contacted for comment on this article.