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Ministers to cap firms’ energy bills amid calls for longer-term support

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theguardian.com

Jacob Rees-Mogg is expected to announce a cap on energy prices for businesses that would cut the rates they pay by up to half this winter.On Wednesday, the business secretary will outline support on Wednesday for companies, charities and public sector organisations for six months from 1 October, after Liz Truss said they would receive equivalent help to households whose costs are being capped.Rees-Mogg is expected to cut the rate for electricity and gas for non-domestic users by about 50% and 25% respectively, compared with current contracts for winter, in a plan first reported by Bloomberg and confirmed by government sources.However, the cap may not be enough to prevent permanent scarring to Britain’s high streets, as pubs, shops and schools looking to sign new electricity contracts have been quoted prices up to ten times their current rates.The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said that without a significant intervention, the UK faces a “lost generation” of traders, adding that a cap would not affect high standing charges imposed by suppliers.

Larger businesses are also raising concerns.On Tuesday, the pub group Fuller’s said its annual electricity bill was likely to soar from £8m to £18m, warning the increases faced by the hospitality sector are “unsustainable”.Some Labour and even Conservative MPs are understood to be frustrated that Rees-Mogg will not announce the plans on Wednesday in the House of Commons.It means there will be no opportunity for him to be questioned on the support in the chamber because parliamentary business is being taken up by oaths to King Charles III.Details of the scheme emerged as Truss confirmed that pubs will get help with their energy bills for longer than six months, but many

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