Lowry says many local businesses are hanging by a thread

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Independent retailers in Tipperary have seen energy costs rise more than 80% leading to calls for the government to urgently introduce promised support.

Deputy Michael Lowry says the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme announced in the budget has yet to become active.

He says many retailers are struggling to meet the burden of rising energy costs with some already closed and many holding on by a thread in the hope of recouping some losses during the Christmas shopping season.

Budget 2023 promised a 40% rebate of the energy increases to eligible companies however this has yet to materialise.

Amongst those most seriously impacted are food supply businesses that rely heavily on refrigeration to keep products frozen or chilled with increases of up to 80%.

The Thurles TD says the message from all businesses is the same – they are faced with significant rising energy costs that they are struggling to meet. They have also had direct increases from suppliers for products, packaging and delivery.

Michael Lowry also says he has been contacted by the Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland who claim if they were to pass on all these increases it would equate to a 50% rise to the consumer.

He says the majority of businesses feel helpless as, in order to stay in business, they cannot overly increase their prices to customers, who are also seeing a significant rise in their daily cost of living.