McKeever Hotels in warning over investment squeeze

McKeever Hotels in warning over investment squeeze

Investment at one of Northern Ireland’s largest hotel groups will have to be carefully weighed against increased borrowing costs, its director has warned.

McKeever Hotels Group director Eddie McKeever spoke out after the Bank of England put interest rates up to 1.75%, putting a squeeze on companies looking to borrow and consumer spending.

Eddie, whose company owns  the Dunadry, Corr’s Corner and Dunsilly hotels in Co Antrim and Dillons in Letterkenny, said: “It’s going to touch everything in some way. It will affect us because of the loans we have, so it’s going to make it more expensive for us if we’re looking at any capital expenditure.

“If customers’ mortgages go up, it will mean they pare back their discretionary spending.”

Hitting out at the logic of increasing interest rates to fight inflation, he told the Belfast Telegraph: “I know it’s the only lever the Bank of England has and it’s the go-to way of tackling inflation in the economics textbooks, but inflation at the minute isn’t coming from people over-spending, but from energy prices.

“People are still going to be filling their oil tanks and their cars after the interest rate rise because that’s a need they have to fill. Something needs to be done about energy prices.”