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LCCI criticise government reducing energy support for businesses

Tuesday 10 January 2023

Richard Burge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said:

“Following the delay in an update to the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, many businesses will have had an anxiety-ridden Christmas, uncertain of their futures beyond April.

“The government has had ample time to produce a well thought-out, meaningful and targeted plan to help businesses, and yet there will be no solace for businesses today.

“Energy bills are unsustainably high – having risen on average 137% last year for businesses in London – and the reduction in support will make the economic situation for businesses much worse, especially for small and medium sized businesses who do not have the ability or access to capital to strike fixed long-term deals with energy suppliers.

“The benefit of these new measures will only be felt by high energy users, not those with reliably low use but where energy is a substantive portion of business cost, such as hospitality and retail.

“While we accept that the current scheme is expensive, we would like to remind the government that if London’s thriving business community continues to suffer, the wider economic outcomes for the entire country will be far worse than the cost of short-term, targeted support.

“Businesses will now be preparing to use some of their last reserves of cash to stay afloat once the energy help scheme is reduced, meaning that they will not be able to employ new staff, invest in their premises and think about the future.

“The Government must secure the conditions in which businesses can sustainability prosper and grow.”

ENDS