Meanwhile, Craig Beaumont, chief of external affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), previously told the Financial Times that “a huge proportion of the business community will become unviable” if the Government’s financial support ends.
The FSB’s Out in the Cold report, published in September, revealed that the overwhelming majority (96 percent) of small firms are still concerned about rising energy bills. And nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of all small firms warned their energy costs have gone up from the amount they were paying last year.
One of the sectors hit hardest by surging energy costs, sparked largely by Russia’s war in Ukraine and gas supply cuts to Europe, is manufacturing. This industry is energy intensive and the sector fears that lower levels of Government support could be detrimental.
Rob Flello, chief executive of the British Ceramic Confederation, said: “While we welcomed the government’s non-domestic energy bill relief scheme as a lifeline, their announcement of a review sparked concern. We warned that if Government support was downgraded, then this industry would be on a cliff edge. The Government must not leave us in a precarious position.”
A Treasury Spokesperson said:“We are protecting businesses from high energy costs this winter, caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, through the six-month £18 billion Energy Bill Relief Scheme. However, this is very expensive, and we need to ensure longer-term affordability and value for money for the taxpayer.
“That is why we are currently carrying out a review with the aim of reducing the public finances’ exposure to volatile international energy prices from April 2023. We will announce the outcome of this review in the New Year to ensure businesses have sufficient certainty about future support before the current scheme ends in March 2023.”
Article source: https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1715177/jeremy-hunt-energy-bill-support-package-april-liz-truss