Urging Government to provide certainty to businesses on energy support ahead of Christmas, BCC Director General, Shevaun Haviland, said:
“Just over a month ago, the Chancellor promised businesses that they would receive a plan on the future of the energy support package before the end of the year. With 24 hours left until Parliament rises, businesses have one simple question: ‘where is this plan’?
“According to a recent BCC survey, almost half (47%) of UK SMEs said they will find it difficult to pay their energy bills when Government support ends.
“Firms deserve far better from Government than broken promises for Christmas during these incredibly difficult times. They now face an anxious and uncertain festive period, unable to plan for the New Year.
“The Government has repeatedly assured us of their commitment to confidence and stability. However, their failure to stick to their promises and provide businesses with the certainty they need does not fill anyone with confidence, nor does it promote stability.
“Government is now left with two options. They can pull a rabbit out of the hat and come up with a plan before they break for Christmas. Or they must explain why they are leaving businesses in the dark.
“Without a clear plan before January, many businesses will be left vulnerable to extortionate prices at the end of March, especially SMEs and energy intensive businesses. Those businesses will have no choice but to start preparing their workforce for potential redundancies, leaving employees vulnerable and weakening the economy further.
“Now more than ever, we need to provide businesses with confidence so they can invest, grow and power the much-needed recovery of the UK economy in the months ahead.”