Chippies are urging the government to halt its controversial VAT hike as customers pay £12-13 for a large cod and chips, before feeling the full impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Chippies are reeling from rising costs, with thousands facing closure.
One expert says half of all our fish and chip shops will close if the government pushes ahead with a controversial sales tax hike. Others will stop selling fish and will resort to other options like burgers and kebabs.
The warning came from National Federation of Fish Friers president Andrew Crook, who reckons as many as 3,000 chippies could be sold in the next five years.
Mr Crook, who owns Skippers of Euxton in Lancashire, said customers are paying £5.60 for a cod, which costs him £4. And while an 18kg case of cod cost £150 before the pandemic, it has risen to £230.
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“I’m not going to make any money now,” he said. “It will be very difficult to pull this off. We operate on a very tight margin at fish and chips, and after the pandemic, prices started going through the roof.
“That was before we felt the effects of Ukraine.”
He added: “A large cod and fries will cost around £12 or £13.”
About 40% of imported fish comes from Russia, which is now being sanctioned, Mr Crook added. And 50% of the sunflower oil used in chippies comes from Ukraine.
(Getty Images/Bloomberg Creative Photos)
He added: “Palm oil used to be £13 a box, now we’re going up to £23 a pot and that’s before we run out of sunflower oil. That will go away because it comes from Ukraine.”
Mr Crook wants the Treasury to scrap his plan to increase VAT by 7.5% because “it will put a lot of businesses under pressure”.
Sales tax, now at 12.5%, returns to its pre-pandemic rate of 20% next month.
He added: “A lot of businesses are at the bottom end of the industry – married couples who are finding it increasingly difficult to run a business. We’ll see many of these disappear pretty quickly. ”
David Hanbury, who owns a Chippie in Torquay, Devon, said the situation was “a perfect storm of economic disaster”.
He could soon be charging £10.60 for cod and chips, he said.
Mr Hanbury, who has worked in the industry for 40 years, said he had never seen a year where all prices went up at once.
He added: “We will increase our prices for a customer base that is also feeling the effects of the crisis. I have never experienced such catastrophic circumstances.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/fears-thousands-chippies-close-rising-26508386 Fears scores of chippies will close as rising prices mean cod and chips could cost £13