Responding to the release of further details from the UK Government on the energy support plan for business, Liz Cameron CBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
“It is welcome that the UK Government has finally responded and stepped up to provide an initial support package for firms by capping business energy bills for six months.
“Scottish businesses have faced unsustainable energy bills for most of this year, which has already forced some out of business altogether with many more on the brink.
“Today’s support will come as a significant relief for those latter firms, who were facing imminent closure without support, ahead of winter where energy cost and demand will be at their highest.
“However, for those firms that will benefit, the six-month cap is not enough for them to be sufficiently reassured that the problem won’t return when the cap is no longer in effect. We are concerned that even more sudden rises in energy bills will await firms once the cap is lifted.
“We would urge the UK Government to engage immediately with the business community to properly define the ‘vulnerable industries’ cited for support after the original six-month cap.
“Scottish businesses that will still struggle to pay their energy bills despite this support, now need the Chancellor to outline further support for them in Friday’s mini-budget.
“Once this is delivered, the Scottish Government must move quickly to produce an emergency budget of their own with equivalent support and maintain alignment on policies such as taxation.”