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Chancellor to cut ‘unsustainable’ business energy support

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is to reduce energy support for businesses describing it as “unsustainably expensive”.

A package providing support at a “lower level” will be announced next week, to come into play in March.

In a statement after the meeting, government officials to The Guardian: “Extending the scheme at current levels could cost tens of billions of pounds, with costs potentially doubling or tripling if international energy prices increase further than expected. It is vital that taxpayer’s exposure to volatile international energy prices is reduced.

“However, the chancellor also heard the concerns of the business community who are facing high energy prices, and explained that any future support, while at a lower level, would be designed to help them transition to the new higher-price environment and avoid a cliff edge in support.”

Shevaun Haviland, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “More than a third of firms have told us they are finding it difficult to pay their energy bills even when they are in receipt of government support.

“Any continued help is welcome, but it is now clear the new plan will be at a lower level than the existing one. That’s unsurprising, given the state of public finances, but this will still have a significant impact on many businesses.”


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