Government must protect businesses from rising energy costs

The government must do more to protect business and industry from rising energy prices, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The plea follows the decision by regulator Ofgem to increase the energy price cap for households by £693 in England, Wales and Scotland from April. The increase will cause bills for the average customer to rise to £1,971.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has outlined plans to soften the blow via council tax rebates and help with bills. The plans will mean a £200 discount on energy bills for households from October, which will be paid back over the next five years at £40 per year starting in April 2023.

In England, households in council tax bands A to D will get a £150 discount from April. Funds for the equivalent discounts will be provided to devolved nations in the UK.

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief Policy Director, said: ‘Short-term support must go hand-in-hand with a revamped retail energy market, setting a higher bar for market access and tougher stress testing for suppliers.

‘Businesses too have been impacted by high-cost pressures, so steps to protect cashflow for smaller firms and heavy industry should follow [the] announcement.’

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