Business leaders across Northamptonshire say
firms in the region will breathe a sigh of relief after the Government
announced the freezing of energy bills would be extended to companies.
New Prime Minister addressed the commons today giving an ‘Energy Price
Guarantee’ and the commitment that the new Chancellor of the Exchequer will
deliver a further fiscal event later this month.
But firms will be concerned that the decision to freeze bills for
six months would mean the pressure is only eased for a short period.
Louise Wall, Chief Executive of the Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce said: “Our Chamber has spoken to businesses in
recent weeks who were being quoted astronomical figures for their energy bills
come October and they could not see a way of continuing, faced with those cost
“They will be breathing a sigh of relief today that, for the
short-term at least, their energy bills are going to be frozen.
Government must look at this again in the next three months to ensure that, in
six months’ time, we are not in the same situation again.
“We understand that this is not solely a domestic issue and that
global events are having an impact but, for businesses to be able to plan and
invest, they need a degree of certainty and will want to see a wider plan from
Government on how it plans to revitalise the whole economy.”
Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the British Chambers of
Commerce (BCC), said: “The BCC welcomes this quick and positive
intervention from Government. It is clear the new Prime Minister has
listened to firms and is providing a strong package of support for business,
equivalent to the crucial support to consumers.
“We welcome the breadth of the offer to all non-domestic energy
users with businesses, charities and public sector organisations to be
“The price cap is a measure the BCC has previously called for. It
will give businesses some financial certainty on the outlook for the next six
months. It is crucial that there is a review at three months so there is time
to plan for the end of the six-month period.
“However, given the other challenges still facing business on
labour shortages, supply chain disruption, and rising raw material costs, it is
unlikely that we will see greater investment from business in the
“If we are to truly revitalise our economy for the difficult
months ahead then there must be a clear long-term plan that gives firms the
confidence to grow.”
Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, President of the BCC, said: “We
welcome the commitment from the Government to review the UK’s long term energy
strategy. It is vital to give business confidence on the continuity of their
power supplies and future price stability.
“We must not abandon our Net Zero targets and action must be taken
to support business with the switch to more energy efficient technologies and
“The UK is already a world leader in the development of wind power
technology and the shift to a more diverse energy mix involving renewables and
nuclear power must remain central to our plans.
“But this will not happen overnight and using the UK’s oil and gas
reserves to ensure our energy resilience during the transition is a sensible
path to take, provided this does not jeopardise our Net Zero targets.”