More London businesses are likely to go under because of inadequate government support, according to one of the capital’s leading business groups following confirmation that help with energy bills is to be reduced from the start of April.
Muniya Barua, Deputy Chief Executive at BusinessLDN – formerly London First – said the “long overdue announcement” made today, which will see firms receive a discount rather than having their costs capped as at present, offers only “cold comfort” to companies “as government support is slashed while cost pressures remain high”.
An extension of business rate relief for struggling sectors such as retail and hospitality is welcomed by Barua, but “firms are still battling a toxic mix of skills shortages, high inflation and rising interest rates on top of industrial action and a looming recession”.
Unveiling the scheme, which will run from 1 April until 31 March 2024, the government said it “strikes a balance between supporting businesses over the next 12 months and limiting taxpayers’ exposure to volatile energy markets”.
Its maintained “the government has been clear that current levels of support were time-limited and intended as a bridge to allow businesses to adapt” and added that wholesale gas levels have “almost halved” since the current scheme was announced.
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