A decision on extending support for businesses regarding their energy bills has been postponed.
The decision was due before parliament went on recess over Christmas but the Treasury has now stated that the decision on the Energy Bill Relief Scheme will not be made until the new year.
Paul Slevin, Executive Chair of Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid, said:
“We are disappointed that a decision regarding the extension of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme for businesses has been postponed until the new year.
“A recent poll by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) found that 47% of businesses nationally would struggle to pay their energy bills if the scheme was not extended, with 4% stating they could not afford the bills at all.
“Without a clear plan before the new year, many businesses, particularly SMEs and energy intensive businesses, face this reality and will be vulnerable to excessive prices at the end of March.
“The cost of doing business is more expensive than ever. The BCC’s quarterly economic survey for Q4 announced that 60% of all businesses expect their prices to rise, and in Wales over two thirds of businesses reported that they were under pressure to raise prices because of soaring energy costs. Wales’ economy is made up of 99% SMEs who cannot go on in this way.
“Businesses need greater levels of support now more than ever to help the economy recover but they cannot do it alone. We urge the UK Government to provide clarity sooner than later to provide businesses with confidence and stability.”