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Energy support for businesses needs detail say farmers

Farmers are asking for the detail and timescale of help with energy bills promised by the government.

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg told the House of Commons last week that the government will discount energy for businesses.


He said: “The government announced that it will be providing a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all non-domestic customers whose current gas and electricity prices have been significantly inflated by global energy prices.


“This includes all UK businesses and covers the voluntary sector such as charities, and the public sector such as schools and hospitals.”


The NFU responded by welcoming details of the support and drawing attention to the needed timescale.


NFU President Minette Batters said: “We welcome the detail announced today in the energy support package which will provide a much-needed cushion for farmers, growers and food businesses who are vulnerable to high wholesale energy prices.


“Given the package does not cover limits on standing charges, it’s essential the government continues to assess the full impact that energy bills will have on business confidence and production.


“We also need urgent clarity on what support will be available for food businesses after the initial six month period.


"Energy plays a core role in the production of our food and throughout the food supply chain, from fertiliser production and heating glasshouses and livestock buildings, to baking bread and keeping facilities clean.


"We simply can’t produce the food the nation needs without affordable energy.


“Because of this close link between energy and food, the government must prioritise access to affordable energy for food production and the food supply chain.


"Continued support will be key to curtailing food price inflation going forward and ensuring the provision of affordable, nutritious, climate-friendly food for the country.”


The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) have a lukewarm welcome to the package.


President, Mark Tufnell, said: “The news that the Energy Bill Relief Scheme will fix gas and electricity prices for all businesses across the country for six months from 1st October is welcomed to an extent.


“A six-month cap is too short a time span for most businesses. They need certainty of their cost base if confidence is to return in the medium term.


"It is vitally important that the government puts in place measures that will avoid a cliff edge in profitability that will simply perpetuate the difficulties that many businesses face today when the cap comes to an end.


“A cap on the unit rate makes good sense, but the government must act to stop the significant and largely unjustified increase in standing charges.


"Further details of the scheme and how it applies to businesses are needed as soon as possible.”


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