UK news Northern Ireland consumers foot the bill as retailers try to recoup losses last news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Consumers in Northern Ireland have been warned to get used to higher prices in the post-pandemic era - including a hitherto unthinkable £6 for a pint.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! "Consumers in Northern Ireland have been warned to get used to higher prices in the post-pandemic era - including a hitherto unthinkable £6 for a pint. With retailers, publicans and other businesses attempting to recoup losses after a year of lockdown disruption, there is little doubt that customers will be footing the bill.Punters returning to pubs and bars may well find that their round is costing a little more than it did last year, with two local publicans telling the Belfast Telegraph that the price of a pint of beer has had to go up.Stephen Magorrian, managing director of the Horatio Group, said some pubs in Northern Ireland are already charging £6 for a pint of premium beer."The cost of beer has gone up by 10p to 20p across the board," Mr Magorrian said."With us, prices have risen from £4.70 a pint to £4.80 at the Northern Whig and from £4.50 to £4.70 at Horatio Todd's in Ballyhackamore."That's down to costs we've incurred due to increases in the price of beer from the brewery and a hike in the minimum wage, but some publicans have really gone for it and are charging customers £6 for a pint of Heverlee [premium Belgian beer]".Another leading publican, Willie Jack, who owns the Duke of York, the Harp Bar and The Dark Horse in Belfast, said his punters can expect the price of a regular pint to "possibly rise to £5".He said he's hoping "to turn the lights back on in Commercial Court" at the end of May or start of June, and he anticipated added security would translate into higher costs at the bar."We will have security at all doors, taking customer details and monitoring behaviour and it is possible that some prices could go up," he said.Clothing, footwear, furniture, games, toys, haircuts and manicures are among the other items and services that will cost more, according to recent figures issued by the Office of National Statistics.The news comes as non-essential retail In Northern Ireland reopened last Friday for the first time since Christmas.Cancellation fees and so-called "micro charges" such as processing fees - for instance when booking dinner - are also likely to push up prices.Martyn James from Revolver, a consumer complaints resolution service, said customers should not expect to find that everything would be the same as it was.
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."Of the businesses that have survived, lockdown has changed the business model of so many of them in so many ways, some positive, some negative."Mr James also warned about good old fashioned profiteering."If you've got 1,000 people wanting one of your 300 covers because you're lucky enough to have a big beer garden, then you can do what you like," he said.Hairdressers are set for record takings this month as they work to clear a backlog of appointments over the last four months.Ken McClure, vice president of the Northern Ireland Hairdressers Association, previously told the Belfast Telegraph that most salons would find post lockdown price hikes unavoidable.Indeed, Debbie Lamont, who owns Hair Ritz on the Woodstock Road in east Belfast, revealed that some salons across the city have put up their prices by as much as £20 for a colour."We've only increased prices a little for our loyal clients," she told the Belfast Telegraph."It now costs roughly £5 more for a colour but some salons have increased prices by £15 or £20."Manufacturers have put the price of colour up by a third and the cost of gloves has also tripled, so it's inevitable that these hikes will eventually have to be passed on to customers."Garth Hetherington, director of the Ulster Economic Policy Centre, said price hikes are bad news for Northern Ireland."With the scale of quantitative easing across all major central banks, basically printing money, combined with huge levels of government spending, some economists are increasingly concerned about the prospect of higher inflation," he said."Given the price of many goods and commodities are determined in international markets, if major economies such as the US and China start to grow quickly again, that will result in upward pressure on prices across the world including here in Northern Ireland."Inflation currently sits at 1% and although there is little evidence to suggest it is about to increase significantly, I would advise an element of caution."That's because inflation has been below 2.5% for most of the last 25 years and this may create a complacency and an under appreciation of the risks that exist."Higher inflation means higher interest rates, and that's a problem for households with high levels of debt and perhaps more significantly, governments running multi-decade high deficits. That combination would be very damaging for the economy.""
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