Tipp hotelier says energy prices will drive hotels out of business

Photo courtesy of Hotel Minella Facebook page

The Criminal Assets Bureau should be after energy companies because of their conduct of raising energy prices over the last few months, according to a Tipperary hotelier.

John Nallen of the Hotel Minella in Clonmel made the claim on this morning’s Tipp Today during a conversation on high gas prices affecting small and medium businesses.

Prices for gas and electricity have continued to rise following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine almost a year ago putting pressure on supply chains.

Speaking to Tipp Today, John said that while he understands there’s a crisis going on, hotels simply can’t survive with bills continuing to increase.

“I understand we’re in crisis but we’re in crisis the whole time, when we were in crisis with Covid we were told we had to close our business, everything changed. I mean there’s a war now, there’s a crisis, but there’s no crisis with energy companies, only get us working for them.

“The government are saying now they’re going to get a windfall tax, CAB should be after these people, this is crazy. This is just Armageddon stuff, an armed robber would have more honour than an energy company at the moment. At least an armed robber doesn’t know what you’re going to do or doesn’t know what he’s going to get off you. These people can think of a number, double it and put their hand in your pocket and nothing’s being done about it.”

John also said continuing increases in fuel bills will lead to hotels like theirs closing down and that their gas bill for January alone was tens of thousands of Euro.

“A medium business, that’s a business that are not huge, our contract price was 6 cent and we went from 6 cent to 23 cent. Now, the other charge was a fuel variation charge and that went from 6 cent to 11 cent. How they can justify, the same gas company, the same premises, coming to the same place, one gas goes up by 4 and the other goes up by multipliers of 2.

“Last week when I went through this I said ‘this is close down job’, our gas bill was €40,000 for the month of January.”