Energy support plan for businesses too late to stop some firms closing, say opposition parties – UK politics live

Plans criticised as ‘temporary sticking plaster’ as Labour and Lib Dems say help for businesses should have come sooner

Here is some opposition party reaction to the energy support package for business announced by Jacob Rees-Mogg, the business secretary, this morning.

Labour says the help has come too late. This is from Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow business secretary.

It is farcical that the Tories have been unable to tell businesses at the sharp end of the energy crisis what they plan to do to help them until now. Labour has been calling for support since the start of the year.

Businesses have been crying out for detail on these plans and, even now, there are still questions about how much this will cost and who will pay for it.

This temporary sticking plaster comes too late for the many small businesses that already closed their doors for the last time because they couldn’t afford soaring bills.

The Conservatives have sat on their hands for months while treasured pubs, cafes and high street shops went to the wall.

No wonder Jacob Rees-Mogg clearly wished to avoid parliamentary scrutiny on this critical energy crisis support for businesses – there is an energy efficiency-shaped hole at the heart of this plan that needs to be exposed.

The cheapest and cleanest energy for businesses is the energy they don’t use – so why is Rees-Mogg’s plan utterly devoid of essential energy efficiency measures to help businesses reduce their dependence on costly fossil fuels, slashing bills and carbon emissions at the same time?

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