UK

Nearly third of businesses raised prices last month – Labour

Labour said shoppers are paying the price as businesses struggle with rising costs (PA)
Labour said shoppers are paying the price as businesses struggle with rising costs (PA) Labour said shoppers are paying the price as businesses struggle with rising costs (PA)

Nearly a third of businesses were forced to raise prices last month, Labour said as it accused the Government of making life “harder and harder” for UK firms.

An analysis of Office for National Statistics (ONS) data by the main opposition party found that 1.5 million businesses across the UK reported price hikes from August to September.

Labour expressed concern that many business owners have been hit by still-high inflation of 6.7% and expensive energy bills.

It said 1.3 million businesses in England, 103,000 in Scotland and more than 233,000 in London said they raised prices over the summer.

In Northern Ireland, 43,000 businesses reported price rises, while in Wales the number stood at 65,000.

Shadow business and trade secretary Jonathan Reynolds said: “Businesses are fed up with this Conservative Government, who have run our economy into the ground and are making it harder and harder for firms to keep costs down.

“Ultimately, it is customers paying the price for the Conservatives’ economic failure.

Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds
Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds has criticised the Government (PA)

“Labour will stand up for our high streets across the country.

“We have a plan to revive the great British high street with business rate reforms to help small firms, action on empty shops and antisocial behaviour to bring shoppers back to the high street.”

The party has promised to cut business rates for small firms, with one-off vouchers too for energy efficiency measures.

Plans to give local councils new powers to bring empty shops back into use will also help, Labour said.