Kwasi Kwarteng today will hold crunch discussions with chiefs of the energy sector amid increasing pressure from the government to address the cost-of-living crisis.
According to reports, The Business Secretary will meet with leaders from the industry to discuss ways in which government can help consumers avoid rising costs and keep more businesses from going under.
After Rishi Sunak, who is believed to have said to colleagues that the government can only do so much to reduce rising energy costs, the meeting will take place.
The Chancellor feels that any government assistance should be directed at those most in dire need.
Labour called on the government to reduce VAT on energy bills in order to assist struggling families, but Boris Johnson last night dismissed the calls and described the call as a “blunt instrument”.
Kwasi Kwarteng is holding crunch talks today with top executives from the energy industry amid growing pressure for the Government to act more effectively to combat the rising cost of living.
According to reports, the Business Secretary will speak with industry leaders in order to talk about how government could protect consumers against rising prices and stop more companies from going bankrupt.
High demand from around the globe caused the wholesale gas prices to spike at the close of 2021.
According to predictions, bills may rise by up to 50% in April if the price caps are reviewed.
The cap is currently set at an already record-beating £1,277 but analysts believe it could go up to £1,995.
There are many options available to the Government for how they could stop a significant increase in energy costs and support the industry.
Whitehall officials are considering a range of options to reduce VAT, boost help for vulnerable families and lend to businesses to spread the costs of rising gas prices over longer periods.
Following the collapse of numerous energy companies last year, many more have been forced to close their doors due to rising gas prices.
Whitehall is concerned that rising energy prices will continue for some time. There would be pressure for the Government to maintain any policies until the price drops, possibly leading to a huge bill for Treasury.
Mr Sunak is said to be of the view that any support should be targeted, with an ally of the Chancellor telling the Financial Times: ‘There’s only so much the government can do.’
Labour has repeatedly asked the government to lower VAT on fuel bills, in an effort to give some relief for households.
Rishi Sunak, according to reports, told coworkers that the government can only do so much to reduce rising energy costs.
Last night, Johnson stated that ministers had not rejected further support for families.
He suggested that scrapping VAT wouldn’t be the best way to assist those most in need.
At a Downing Street press conference, he stated that he was not ruling out additional measures. He argued that the instrument is a little too blunt.
“The difficulty with this is that it also cuts fuel bills for many others who might not require the assistance in the way we want.