Boris Johnson has vowed to “do more” to help people with rising living costs, after Business Secretary Quasi Quarteng acknowledged the government’s energy security strategy was “above the average of three, four, five years.”
Speaking to broadcasters from Hinkley Point C, the prime minister said his government was “already working hard” to reduce the burden of growing family bills, but said the energy plan was about “tackling some of the mistakes of the past.”
However, in response to the announcement, Alex Hall-Chen, a senior policy adviser at the Institute of Directors, said:
“Business leaders want two things from the national energy security policy. First, they want price stability so they can plan. Recently we have seen how disruptive instability can be. In our recent survey, 53% reported that electricity prices were having a negative impact on their business, up from just 17% at this time last year. To this end, we welcome the promise of energy security strategies for greater independence from the international market. However, more detail is needed on how business and government can work together to achieve this goal. We are also concerned that the measures announced will seldom help businesses facing high energy costs in the immediate future.
“Second, business leaders want confidence that government policy is enough to meet our country’s net zero goal. The government’s commitment to sustainable energy production and accelerated energy efficiency and investment was not economically strong. Today’s commitment to low-carbon energy production is welcome, but increasing renewable energy production requires more ambition and leadership.
“It is also important that small and medium-sized businesses receive more incentives and support from the government to help them invest in more energy resilient and energy efficient systems that have become a gap in the government’s climate change strategy to date.”