The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling on Powys’ two Conservative MPs to take action to help save local businesses by pushing for the continuation of energy bill support in the UK Government budget next week.
Brecon and Radnorshire Liberal Democrat Candidate David Chadwick has warned that a number of much loved local businesses in Powys have already shut their doors over winter and many more may follow unless support is maintained.
Currently, the Conservative Government is due to cut energy support for businesses leisure centres, schools and hospitals by 85 per cent in April.
Several well-known businesses have recently shut across Powys citing energy bills including Junk ‘n’ Disorderly - Llandrindod Wells, Fforest Inn – New Radnor, Station Grill – Llansantffraid, Bill the Butchers – Newtown and Camden Stores Farm Shop – Brecon.
The Liberal Democrats have called on the UK Government to scrap the hike in the average household energy bill by £500 in April and introduce a new energy support package for businesses, leisure centres, schools and hospitals across Powys funded by bringing in a tax on the “bonanza bonuses” of oil and gas bosses.
The Liberal Democrats' plans mean that in Powys the average household would be £469 better off. In total Powys would save a huge £23 million.
Liberal Democrat candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire David Chadwick said: “The Conservatives plan to hike energy bills in April will come as a hammer blow to families in Powys already struggling with soaring mortgages and rents, shopping bills and tax rises.
“Their plan to cut support for businesses in particular risks killing off the last of our high streets in Powys. Just this weekend I spoke to David in Yummy Kitchen in Crickhowell who has seen his energy bills quadruple in the last year.
“With no plan to deal with this cost of living crisis for people or businesses, this chaotic, out-of-touch Government is instead making it much worse because they just don’t get it.
“People need real support and that’s what the Liberal Democrats are calling for.
“I urge both of Powys’ Conservative MPs to ensure support is not cut in April and to introduce a real windfall tax on oil and gas companies and their executives' bonuses. It is not right they continue to profit from the War in Ukraine while ordinary people suffer and the Government refuses to take action.”