Fears of Delays to Energy-Support Package Vex UK Businesses
(Bloomberg) — UK businesses have still not been given details, figures or the timings of the government’s proposed energy support package, raising fears that it won’t be ready in time to be implemented in October.
Prime Minister Liz Truss had vowed that firms would receive “equivalent” support to households when she announced her plan for the winter energy crisis last week, raising hopes that help for businesses would be ready at the beginning of next month.
While firms don’t have the same cliff edge as households as the energy price cap does not apply to them, thousands of businesses face steep price rises within weeks as their fixed-price energy contracts expire at the start of October.
Yet conversations between government officials and firms have so far not contained details of exactly what unit price the government will set for firms’ energy, or when it is likely to come into force, leading to rising concerns that the package will not be ready for October, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
Read more: Energy Price Cap Seen Saving UK From ‘Consumer Armageddon’
Government officials warned companies that they might have to wait until November for the help to come in, although they said they still hoped it would go live next month, the Financial Times reported.
The mounting fears of a delay will raise questions over whether MPs should sit in Westminster for additional days this month. Parliamentary business is currently suspended due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and it is due to go into recess for the party conferences Sept. 22.
The department for business, energy and industrial strategy did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday night.
The plan to help businesses with energy costs and whether it would require legislation was still being worked on, the prime minister’s spokesperson Max Blain said on Monday.
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