London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Firms hit back at Bank governor in prices row

Firms hit back at Bank governor in prices row

Business leaders have hit back after the Bank of England governor said they should think twice before raising prices to cope with inflation.

Andrew Bailey said increased prices could drive up the cost of living even further and hurt the poorest most.

But the boss of pub chain JD Wetherspoon, Tim Martin, said bank managers were "breathing down the neck" of business owners.

UK Hospitality said Mr Bailey ignored the "stark situation" faced by many.

"If all prices try to beat inflation we will get higher inflation," the bank governor told the BBC's Today programme.

Speaking a day after the Bank raised interest rates to their highest level for 14 years, Mr Bailey said higher inflation "hurts people" and he warned rates would go up again if prices continued to rise.

"I would say to people who are setting prices - please understand, if we get inflation embedded, interest rates will have to go up further and higher inflation really benefits nobody," he added.

'An unnerving experience'

But Mr Martin said while businesses may "want to follow his advice, many won't be able to" and warned there could be price rises at the pub chain.

"If cash costs for energy, labour and supplies rise and prices don't go up, bank managers around the country will be breathing down the neck of business owners - which is an unnerving experience," he said.

The Wetherspoons chairman said he was looking forward to a time when "ferocious" inflationary pressures eased across the industry.

The low-cost food and drink chain, which has a network of 843 pubs across the UK and Ireland, reported a 5% rise in sales over the six months to 29 January compared with the same period in 2019.

Its figures mirror those from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) which showed retail sales had grown to 6.3%, their highest level since March 2022.

However, it said rising inflation meant sales volumes remained firmly in the red.

The BRC said despite the ongoing cost of living squeeze, customers were still ready to spend on what they needed, with higher sales in clothing and cosmetics.

"There remain challenges to consumer spending in the coming months with the end of the Energy Bill Support Scheme in April and the increasing cost of borrowing.

"It is essential that government avoids any additional regulatory burdens on business that would risk pushing prices up, adding to the squeeze on consumer wallets," it said.

'Minor miracle'

Trade body UK Hospitality's chief executive Kate Nicholls said it was a "minor miracle" so many businesses had held off raising prices for as long as they had.

"To suggest the sector should stomach these staggering cost increases ignores the real and stark situation facing venues across the country," she said.

A government spokesperson said it had provided an "unprecedented" energy support package for firms, "and further support from April onwards".


Related Articles

London Daily
News roundup
Good day, everyone! We've got some gripping stories for you today, spanning from the Middle East to Europe, and even a touch of Hollywood.
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Emmanuel Macron Calls for Snap Election
Jordan Bardella: Young Far-Right Leader Poised for Future Political Influence in France
World's Oldest Privately Owned Book Auctioned for $3.8 Million
Animal Rights Activists Deface King Charles' Portrait in Protest
Dutch Military Intel Uncovers Extensive Chinese Cyber Espionage
Turkish Student Arrested for Using AI to Cheat in University Exam
Rise in Dengue and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Europe Due to Climate Change
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Far-Right National Rally Dominates France's EU Vote
Macron Calls Snap Legislative Elections After Far-Right Victory
Far-Right Gains Significantly in EU Election
UK Job Market Shows Signs of Recovery
Orban’s Fidesz Party Wins Majority in Hungary’s EU Elections as New Challenger Emerges
Meloni's Far-Right Party Wins European Elections in Italy
Key Insights from the European Union Elections
European Union Elections and Rise of Far-Right Parties
England Loses Over 260,000 Social Rent Homes in a Decade
Campaigners Urge Government to Block Shein's FTSE Listing
First NHS AI-Run Physiotherapy Clinic Launches This Year
British TV Presenter Michael Mosley Found Dead on Greek Island
Ukrainian Forces Claims First Strike on Russia's Su-57 Fighter Jet
Macron Dissolves Parliament and Calls Snap Elections
Russia Adds Yulia Tymoshenko to Wanted List
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron Tricked by Hoax Caller Posing as Former Ukrainian President
Kate Middleton's Absence from Colonel's Review Due to Chemotherapy
UK Foreign Secretary Deceived by Prank Video Call
Sunak Criticised Over D-Day Exit in BBC Debate
Rishi Sunak Apologizes for Leaving D-Day Commemoration Early
UK Woman Sentenced After Causing Fatal Crash While Sending Selfies