‘We’re focused on helping the vulnerable’ – Kwarteng on energy crisis
The government’s cap on energy prices looks set to rise by a further £178 per year from April 2022 as gas prices soar, according to modelling from researchers at a market intelligence agency.
Cornwall Insight’s researchers expect the price cap will be raised to £1,455 for the six months from the beginning of April next year.
This would be a 14 per cent rise from the already record-breaking £1,277 that customers will pay between October and April, and up £317 from current levels.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, meanwhile, has said any support for large energy companies taking on customers from those which have gone bust will not be “a blank cheque”.
He told BBC Breakfast: “Any support for those larger companies will be in terms of working capital, will be a loan, it won’t be just a grant, it won’t be just a blank cheque.
“It will be something where – if we do have this facility, if we do have this policy – they will be expected to pay back the loans, whereas in the case of a bailout, that’s what it is. It’s just a bailout where you grant money, taxpayers’ money, and the taxpayer doesn’t see any return from that.”
Energy crisis could affect next year’s crops, board warns
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s head of environment and resource management has warned the crisis could affect next year’s crops.
Jon Foot said: “As energy prices spike to new highs, the price for natural gas has resulted in major producers of fertilisers closing down their facilities.
“The problems are unlikely to be resolved over the winter, as demand for energy in the winter months continues, and supplies of natural gas will remain restricted, and despite government ministers talking to the energy industry and producers of fertiliser, we should assume this crisis will feed into next year’s crop.
“This has impacted both the livestock sectors where a lack of carbon dioxide used to humanely stun the pigs before slaughter is in short supply and has caused the animals to back up on farm, and the closure of the fertiliser factories has caused the price of fertiliser to double in under a week.
“Many farmers have sufficient fertiliser in stock to establish their winter crops, but supplies are less certain for spring sown crops.”
Chiara Giordano21 September 2021 14:15
Government taking ‘direct steps’ to ensure carbon dioxide supply, says Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson has said the government is taking “direct steps” to make sure carbon dioxide will be available for industries such as the food sector.
Speaking to the BBC during his trip to the United States, the prime minister said the spikes in gas prices which have led to the disruption of CO2 production “are being caused by the world economy waking up after quite a long period of cryogenic paralysis – it’s unfreezing everywhere and that is causing supply chain problems”.
“Obviously, we’re working with the companies to make sure that we can keep the supplies going,” he added.
“On the carbon dioxide issue that’s particularly important for some industries, we’re taking direct steps to make sure that that continues to be available.”
Chiara Giordano21 September 2021 14:02
Cabinet minister hints at deal over carbon dioxide shortage
Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, has hinted that a deal could soon be reached with firms over a carbon dioxide shortage, but warned it may come at “some cost” to the taxpayer.
It comes amid alarm that consumers could start noticing shortages in poultry, pork and bakery products within days due to the closure of two UK sites that produce Co2 for British businesses.
Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has the full story:
Chiara Giordano21 September 2021 13:44
Kwarteng: Energy firms could be offered state-backed loans, but the government doesn’t want to be “throwing taxpayers’ money” at “badly run” companies
Speaking on Sky News, Kwasi Kwarteng said that some of the UK’s biggest energy firms could be offered state-backed loans to take on customers from failed suppliers, to ensure “continuity of supply”. He insisted, however, that the government did not want to be throwing taxpayers’ money at poorly managed companies.
“It costs a company to absorb up to hundreds of thousands of customers from another company that’s failed, that costs money and there may well be a provision for some sort of loan and that’s been discussed,” Mr Kwarteng said.
“Every year between five and eight companies exit the market and I don’t want to prop up failing companies, I don’t want there to be a reward for failure”.
Celine Wadhera21 September 2021 13:33
Around 15 million households face £178 energy bill hike as price cap rise predicted
Around 15 million households across Britain are expected to be hit with the £178 annual hike on their energy bills from April, analysts have said.
Experts at Cornwall Insight expect that the price cap will be hiked to £1466 for the average household. This would mark a 14 per cent increase on the already record-setting £1,277 that’s set to enter into force next Friday.
My colleague August Graham has the full story.
Celine Wadhera21 September 2021 13:14
Downing Street insists support is available
Following the business secretary’s warning that it could be a “very difficult winter” for those hit by benefit cuts, Downing street has insisted that support is available for…
Read More: Energy crisis: Minister hints deal over carbon dioxide shortage as price cap could