The Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster, Colin Neill, has said that the latest price increase by NI Water has forced an additional financial burden on the hospitality industry that it will find difficult to meet.
From the start of April, the hospitality sector in Northern Ireland will be forced to pay an extra 2.7% for water and sewerage charges. This is on top of a 3% plus increase this time last year making the hospitality sector one of the most heavily taxed.
Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster reacted:
“Many don’t realise that this seemly small percentage water price increase has a huge impact on the hospitality sector as we are not only charged for water coming in, but also for sewerage going out.”
“To pay for the extra charge of around £100 on top of the already high-water charges, a typical business in the hospitality sector needs to make £500 more to cover that cost. Decreasing margins means that this will take a longer time to offset the newly inflated bill and is simply unsustainable.”
“This comes on top of a recent jump in business rates here which have increased in some areas as much 4%.”
“As a comparison, many businesses in GB with a NAV of £51,000 get 30% business rate relief, so, for example a pub in Sheffield with a rateable value of £37,750 will save £6,178 in business rates next year, whilst the same pub here gets nothing – this doesn’t stack up and shows how far behind we are here.”
“Our members are being hit with cost rises on a regular basis. This is death by a thousand hikes and needs to be curtailed as they are becoming increasingly unmanageable.”
“This just won’t wash with our members who are basically having to pay to supplement the inefficiencies of NI Water.”