The leading member of an influential Westminster panel has slammed the Government’s business support package for energy bills as a “waste of taxpayers’ money.”
Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Chair Darren Jones argued that today’s proposals failed to provide targeted support to businesses which needed it the most, and instead allocated resources to customers not in need of further help.
He said: “Capping the price for all businesses is a waste of taxpayers’ money, which should be targeted at those which need it the most. Why should British taxpayers collectively get into even more debt to hand over public funds to Amazon?”
Downing Street rolled out the Government Energy Bill Relief Scheme earlier today, which will provide a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all non-domestic customers for six months over the winter.
It is expected to cut bills in half for businesses over the coming months, from expected hikes which would have seen record energy costs.
This includes not just all UK businesses, but also charities and the public sector such as schools and hospitals.
The announcement came ahead of the Government’s mini-budget, will be delivered to the House of Commons on Friday.
To administer the support, the Government has set a Supported Wholesale Price – expected to be £211 per MWh for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas, less than half the wholesale prices anticipated this winter – which is a discounted price per unit of gas and electricity.
Cornwall Insight has calculated that the overall cost of the package at £25bn, while Investec’s forecasts vary from £22-48bn.
It is still unclear how the support will be funded, with multiple media reports suggesting it will be shifted onto taxpayers rather than borrowing.
The costings are expected to be clarified by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng later this week.