HM Treasury

Wednesday 4 Jan 2023

Readout of the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s discussion with business leaders

The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt met with business leaders today (Wednesday 4th January) at the Treasury.

He confirmed that the Treasury will announce the conclusion of the review of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme in the House of Commons next week, which will outline support for businesses when the current six month scheme ends in March 2023.

The Chancellor praised the resilience of the business community in the face of an unprecedented increase in energy prices, caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Government has protected businesses this winter from these high energy costs through the £18 billion Energy Bill Relief Scheme - one of the most generous support packages in Europe. However, no Government can permanently shield businesses from this energy price shock.

The Chancellor was clear that this level of support is unsustainably expensive and that the current scheme was always time limited to six months.

Extending the scheme at current levels could cost tens of billions of pounds, with costs potentially doubling or tripling if international energy prices increase further than expected. It is vital that taxpayer’s exposure to volatile international energy prices is reduced.

However, the Chancellor also heard the concerns of the business community who are facing high energy prices and explained that any future support, while at a lower level, would be designed to help them transition to the new higher price environment and avoid a cliff edge in support.

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Notes to editors

List of business representatives:

  • Confederation of British Industry
  • Federation of Small Businesses
  • British Chambers of Commerce
  • Institute of Directors
  • Make UK
  • UKHospitality
  • British Beer & Pub Association