Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng: Energy price cap 'not going anywhere'

10 October 2021, 11:06 | Updated: 10 October 2021, 22:21

By Elizabeth Haigh

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told LBC today that the energy price cap is "not going anywhere" as wholesale gas prices soar amid a global supply crisis.

Mr Kwarteng told Swarbrick on Sunday: "The best way we can protect consumers as far as bills are concerned is with the energy price cap.

"That's not going anywhere."

Gas prices have soared in recent months resulting in rising electricity costs and mutliple UK suppliers going bust.

Ahead of a difficult winter for many families, who fear they may have to choose between food and heating, Mr Kwarteng said he was not aware of rumours of a public information campaign for people to put on a jumper to save on fuel: "I don't know about anything like that.

"It's not my job as Energy Minister or Business Secretary to tell people what clothes they should or shouldn't wear."

Read more: Energy crisis: Warnings of blackouts in India and China and gas prices soar in Europe

The Energy Secretary said: "There's been a huge spike in gas prices with a knock on effect on electricity prices and we're trying to work out the best way to get through this period."

He said the government does "support energy intensive users."

But he ruled out asking for support from the Treasury to help solve the crisis: "I'm not asking for anything, I'm just saying that we are conversing with people in the industry and we're talking about how we can manage the situation."

The Treasury has since denied that such talks are taking place, according to reports.

Read more: Energy crisis: Factory production could come to halt as gas prices soar

Mr Kwarteng added: "It's not just about support, it's also about getting security of supply."

He also said: "I'm not asking anyone for bailouts or cash of that type.

"As far as the energy supplier companies are concerned we're not going to give any bailouts."

Read more: Fears of toilet roll shortage as spiralling energy prices could trigger supply crisis

Tom challenged Mr Kwarteng on the 5% VAT cost included in consumer bills and whether it would be scrapped.

Mr Kwarteng refused to comment: "We're keeping the energy price cap.

"VAT is a treasury issue, I would never comment on VAT and tax rates."

The energy price cap rose to £1,277 a year from October and it is expected to rise by 30% to over £1,600 in April.

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