Lancashire chippies could be forced to close as price of fish and chips set to soar to £12

A Lancs chip shop owner and industry expert has said he won’t be making money and warned that thousands of chippies nationwide could close due to rising costs.

Expert Andrew Crook, president of the National Federation of Fish Friers, who owns Skippers of Euxton, near Chorley, said customers pay £ 5.60 for a cod that costs him £ 4. And while an 18kg case of cod cost £ 150 before the pandemic, it has shot up to £ 230.

The expert says half of all our fish and chip shops will shut if the Government presses ahead with a controversial VAT rise, according to The Mirror. Others will stop selling fish and revert to other options such as burgers and kebabs, according to Mr Crook, who reckons up to 3,000 chippies could go in the next five years.

Read more: Shock as popular Blackpool Yates pub announces it is closing its doors

“I won’t be making money now,” he said. “It’s going to be very difficult to pull through this. We work on a very tight margin in fish and chips and after the pandemic, prices started going through the roof.

“This was before we feel the effects from Ukraine.” He added: “A large cod and chips is going to go to around £ 12 or £ 13.”

Some 40% of imported fish is from Russia, which is now sanctioned, Mr Crook said, while 50% of sunflower oil used by chippies is from Ukraine.

He added: “Palm oil used to be £ 13 a box, we’re now up to £ 23 a pot and that’s before we run out of sunflower oil. That will disappear because it’s from Ukraine. “

Mr Crook is calling on the Treasury to scrap its plan to increase VAT by 7.5% because “it is going to put a lot of businesses under”. The sales tax, now at 12.5%, returns to its pre-pandemic rate of 20% next month.

He added: “A lot of shops are at the lower end of the industry – husband and wife teams, it’s getting more and more difficult for them to run a business. We’ll see a lot of those go quite quickly. “

Would you pay more than £ 10 for fish and chips? Let us know in the comments below

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 before known a year with all prices going up at once. He added: “We’re going to put our prices up in a customer base that’s also feeling the pinch. I’ve never known such a disastrous set of circumstances. “

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