LONDON (Reuters) – Britain on Wednesday set out a support package for businesses to deal with soaring energy bills going into the winter season.
Below is the reaction to the planned measures, which include a cap on wholesale prices:
BRITISH BEER AND PUB ASSOCIATION CEO EMMA MCCLARKIN
“It (the scheme) will be a lifeline for many pubs and brewers this winter.
“Whilst this announcement has helped businesses to breathe an initial sigh of relief as they head into this critical period, more support is needed to tackle the cost of doing business and we need a plan beyond the next six months.”
UKHOSPITALITY CEO KATE NICHOLLS
“The inclusiveness of the supports announced … will be extremely beneficial to the sector.
“(The plan) will give businesses some confidence to plan for immediate survival but we will not relent in our pursuit of a more comprehensive package to safeguard businesses and jobs.
“The levers of reduced VAT and business rates reliefs are still available to the Government, and there must also be a comprehensive package to ensure that there is no cliff edge when these measures fall away.”
BRITISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE DIRECTOR GENERAL SHEVAUN HAVILAND
“This support package is significant and will ease the cost pressures that have been piling up on businesses. It will allow many firms that were facing closure, or having to lay off staff or reduce output, to keep going through the winter.
“But the exact level of support will vary greatly from business to business depending on the detail of its contract, so some will inevitably do better than others. We now need action to get this saving passed onto business as soon as possible.
“Some businesses will still struggle to meet their bills despite this government intervention, the Chancellor must prioritise those firms in his mini-budget on Friday. ”
UK STEEL DIRECTOR GENERAL GARETH STACE
“The Business Secretary’s announcement today demonstrates that this new government understands the sheer scale of the issue and the need to deliver a significant solution swiftly.
“Setting a price cap for electricity at £211/MWh for six months gives foundation sectors, such as steel, the chance to get through the winter by giving us a competitive business landscape.
“The government must now move to rapidly reform the energy market to ensure longer-term competitive price beyond the current price cap.”
OPPOSITION LABOUR PARTY BUSINESS SPOKESMAN JONATHAN REYNOLDS
“Businesses have been crying out for detail on these plans and, even now, there are still questions about how much this will cost and who will pay for it.
“We have known a crisis of this scale has been coming for months and Conservative dither and delay has forced too many businesses to close, with the future still looking bleak.”
THE SOCIETY OF MOTOR MANUFACTURERS AND TRADERS
“The new Business Secretary has given thousands of automotive companies vital breathing space … This is a short-term fix, however, and to avoid a cliff-edge in six months’ time, it must be backed by a full package of measures that will sustain the sector.
“Government must now seize this opportunity to deliver a long-term, affordable and secure supply of low carbon energy to ensure the industry is globally competitive and can deliver the jobs, economic growth and net zero gains the UK needs.”
(Reporting by Muvija M; editing by William James and Kylie MacLellan)