Fish and chip shops will have to wait until January to find out what government support they will receive in the face of soaring energy costs.
The Treasury was due to make its decision on extending help for businesses this week, however, it has announced that will now be delayed until the new year.
Under the Energy Bill Relief Scheme introduced in October, wholesale gas and electricity prices have been capped for businesses at approximately half the expected market price until March 2023. However, a review period of three months was given in a bid to ascertain what support would be offered beyond this time frame and where it would be targeted.
A spokesperson for the Treasury said: “We are protecting businesses from high energy costs this winter, caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, through the six-month £18bn Energy Bill Relief Scheme.
“However, this is very expensive, and we need to ensure longer-term affordability and value for money for the taxpayer.
“That is why we are currently carrying out a review with the aim of reducing the public finances’ exposure to volatile international energy prices from April 2023. We will announce the outcome of this review in the New Year to ensure businesses have sufficient certainty about future support before the current scheme ends in March 2023.”
In a tweet in response to the decision, Kate Nicholls, chief executive at UKHospitality, wrote: “Disappointing news that government has also postponed announcement on future energy support until the New Year rather than before Christmas as previously announced. Businesses are facing daily changing rates and contract decisions in Jan so certainty was really needed.”