Portsmouth News urges chip shop VAT cut as Russian war drives up prices

A regional newspaper has called for VAT to be slashed on supplies to fish and chip shops after local chippies warned they were fearing for the future.

The Portsmouth News made the call after hearing from local fish and chip shop owners who said a combination of the Ukraine war and the cost of living crisis could drive them out of business.

According to the News, the UK is deeply dependent on seafood from Russia, which is the world leader in exports of cod, as well as potato fertiliser to make chips.

Meanwhile, sunflower oil — another key ingredient of the the tea-time treat — risks being in short supply because the Ukraine was a major supplier prior to the Russian invasion.

Fish and chip shop owners in Portsmouth say their costs have risen 150% in recent weeks, while many regulars are now visiting less often as they too feel the pinch caused by the cost of living crisis.

They told the News they were now more scared for the future than they were during the lockdowns introduced during Covid-19.

In an editorial leader column, the News wrote: “Who would have thought the crazy world of geopolitics would impact so hard on an order of two saveloys, cod, chips and some mushy peas?

“First, thanks to the pandemic, we watched pub after pub call final last orders as the hospitality industry nosedived.

“Now it’s another national staple, the chippie, which looks like taking an almighty battering.”

“The National Federation of Fish Friers says that since the outbreak of war in the Ukraine, makers of the great British dish have had to close, raise prices or change their menus.

“Prices were rising before the war, but sanctions imposed on Russia by the government, quite rightly, have pushed them higher.

“But it can help this branch of the takeaway industry by cutting VAT for the chip shop owners to 12.5%.”

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