Economy Minister responds to UK Government Energy Bill Relief scheme

Responding to the UK Government Energy Bill Relief Scheme, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said:

“Today’s announcement will ease some of the pressures on businesses and I urge the UK Government to pass the necessary legislation swiftly so that the full discounts are passed onto Non-Domestic customers and without delay.

While the support is welcome it may not be sufficient for many of Wales’s small and medium sized businesses which are facing up to six-fold price increases in their energy bills.  A high proportion of these businesses are already struggling to break even post-pandemic.

Wales’s small businesses are the backbone of our communities providing vital jobs and incomes for local people and part our foundational economy.  If these businesses fail, we will see increased unemployment, increased vulnerability and disruption to important supply chains.

The measures provide businesses with only a temporary respite and little certainty to help them plan ahead.  Many will be forced to close if they are not sufficiently supported.  Therefore, I call upon the UK Government to commit to a longer-term plan to give more certainty to enable businesses to cope with persistent high energy costs

We are closely scrutinising the UK Government support announced today to see whether there is more we can do to support Welsh businesses.  This includes looking at ways of helping businesses reduce energy usage or increase energy efficiency.

However, let’s be clear, the main levers to support businesses rest firmly and squarely with the UK Government.”

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