The Chancellor’s budget announcement has been greeted with negativity by the wholesale industry, with the FWD claiming that nothing in the statement will support businesses considering the five-fold increases they have seen in the uncapped energy costs.
“It is also disappointing that the Chancellor has decided to increase VAT for hospitality settings back to 20%,” saidJames Bielby, chief executive of the FWD . “This will increase the cost of living for many and depress demand for an industry which has suffered significantly over the past two years, and is still not back to 2019 levels.”
Read more: FWD publishes findings of industry-wide foodservice survey
Furthermore, although the FWD praised the 5% cut in fuel duty, it has cited the lack of any announcement today on increasing the amount spent on public sector food contracts. “This is worrying and may result in the supply of hot meals being untenable in schools if not addressed. The per meal rate of £2.34 per child per meal is not enough given the growing cost pressures and the funding rate for 2022-23 must be increased when the funding allocations are announced in June,” added Bielby.