Businesses ‘kneed in the groin’ by high energy costs says Welsh Tory leader as he calls for action
Businesses are being “pinned to the wall” and “kneed in the groin” by the rise in prices for energy, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has said.
In a message on social media he called for further government action on high energy prices rises.
It comes as Boris Johnson has instructed senior officials to plan a “meaningful ministerial meeting” with devolved governments on cost-of-living support.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that the package of support to help people pay surging energy bills is not enough, and that he expected further action from his predecessors.
In a tweet, Andrew RT Davies said: “Rightly a lot of media focus has been placed on the domestic energy price cap.
“In the parallel world that business finds itself in they are been pinned to the wall by the total lack of an energy market and kneed in the groin for good measure.
“Doing nothing is not an option.”
He was responding to a message by Conservative publican Adam Brooks who said: “So let’s make this simple, an average pub, bar, restaurant that was probably paying between £600-£1500 a month on electric, could be being hit with £2400-£6000 a month electric bills.
“Do you understand now, Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson?”
In May, the UK Government announced support worth £15 billion targeted at the most vulnerable people.
In June the Welsh Government announced an extra £4m to help 120,000 people on prepayment meters who are in fuel poverty.
Earlier, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon demanded a meeting with UK ministers to discuss help for households as prices soar.
In a letter to Mr Johnson on Monday, she said an emergency meeting, scheduled for September, cannot wait and must happen immediately.
Mr Johnson has now written back to Ms Sturgeon, saying: “I agree that the response to these pressures will be best served by the UK and devolved governments working collaboratively to navigate these challenges together.”
He has asked his permanent secretary for the union to “continue working with your officials to plan for a meaningful ministerial meeting with heads of devolved governments to consider how best to further support hardworking families”.
It is not known when a meeting will take place.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi met with energy bosses on Thursday to discuss rocketing bills.
Mr Zahawi has said new cost-of-living measures will be prepared for the incoming prime minister to introduce in September.
Mr Johnson added: “The Government understands that people across the UK are worried about the rising cost of living and are seeing their disposable incomes decrease as they spend more on the essentials.”
In her letter, Ms Sturgeon wrote: “This situation is fast deteriorating and many people across the UK simply cannot afford to wait until September for further action to be taken.
“I am therefore writing to seek an emergency meeting of the Heads of Government Council and propose that we, as leaders of our respective governments, meet as soon as possible this week to discuss and agree urgent steps to help those in most need now, and also formulate a plan of action for the autumn and winter ahead.”
Ms Sturgeon added that “action is needed now to address significant gaps in help for households”.
Earlier on Friday, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney claimed the UK Government is holding the public “to ransom” by ruling out further cost-of-living measures until a new prime minister is appointed next month.
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