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Westminster inaction will lead to ‘financial oblivion’ for businesses says Plaid MP

04 Sep 2022 3 minute read
Plaid Cymru MP Ben Lake: UK Parliament

Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesperson, Ben Lake MP has today called for the incoming Prime Minister to implement a “furlough level of support” to help small businesses through the energy crisis.

The Ceredigion MP reiterated his party’s call to lower the price cap to pre-April levels and to extend it to small businesses and charities, who are currently not protected by any price cap.

Mr Lake said that inaction by the UK Government will lead to “financial oblivion” for small businesses. 99.4% of businesses in Wales are SMEs, providing for 62.6% of private sector employment in Wales. 95% of business in Wales are micro businesses, employing between 0-9 employees.

He went on to say that given the importance of small businesses to the Welsh economy, the next Prime Minister must recognise that “without the same level of support for businesses as was given during the pandemic, our economy will simply collapse.”

Ashley Hughes, the owner of the Premier store in Nefyn, who is facing a dramatic increase in his energy bill  backed Plaid Cymru’s call saying that “without support from Westminster, towns like Nefyn will turn into ghost towns where no business will be able to stay open.”

He said: “We are expecting our monthly electricity bills to increase from £605.70 to £2,877. That is a terrifying prospect that will be completely unaffordable for a small businesses like ours.”

Breaking point

Mr Lake said: Government paralysis over the summer means small businesses up and down the country are preparing for a grim winter. Our next Prime Minister – if polls are to be believed – has promised nothing to households or businesses who are facing financial oblivion in a matter of weeks.

“The absence of an energy price cap for businesses means that energy companies are exploiting small businesses to breaking point. While larger corporations can hedge against rising energy costs, smaller companies will have no option but to close due to unsustainable costs this winter.

“SMEs are the backbone of the Welsh economy. Without the same level of support for businesses as was given during the pandemic, our economy will simply collapse. We need a furlough-level of support, which is why Plaid Cymru is urging the UK Government to return the price cap to pre-April levels and to extend it to small businesses and charities.

“In the longer term, a mixture of grant and loan support is needed for SMEs to benefit more from renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures. Without such measures, small businesses will continue to be disproportionately impacted by fluctuations in our unsustainable and unfair energy market.”

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Dai Rob
Dai Rob
1 year ago

Got to be some sort of support for small business…..seeing it accross my client base…..something in the same vein as the furlough scheme!!

1 year ago

Ben is right. However schemes need to be structured so that scammers can’t syphon out funds as some did with the Covid support schemes. UK Gov’s slackness in supervision and control suggest that they were quite content to let some wide boys dip into the kitty.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 year ago

Good to see Ben standing up and saying what needs to be said in a very clear fashion. I do appreciate having a sensible MP who cares for the constituency and the Nation. It would be interesting to know what the usual bunch of Tory Wales hating MPs said in response to his suggestions.

1 year ago

We are at the mercy of the extreme right wing, where the only thing that matters is what happens to their interests. Fu *k business were the words of Boris, does anybody think Truss is any better. Cymru will have to look out for each other, because the Tory party won’t look after anyone outside of the inner circle.

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