PM announces support for businesses with energy bills

Prime Minister Liz Truss announced that she will put support in place from October to assist all businesses with their energy costs for six months.

This will be “equivalent” to the support for householders, which will mean that a “typical household” will pay no more than £2,500 in energy bills for the next two years.

After six months, the Government will continue to support “vulnerable industries” including hospitality businesses.

At the moment there are no clear details on how this support will be delivered.

NDNA will lobby hard for nurseries and other childcare businesses to be classed as “vulnerable” and therefore be eligible for additional help. A review lasting three months will be underway to assess which businesses will be classed as vulnerable.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “The early years sector is vital for the economy in educating children and supporting families.

“Most nurseries are small businesses and like thousands of others are being devastated by rising costs and rocketing energy bills. In the pandemic our sector was recognised as key workers due to the vital role we play in ensuring parents and carers are able to work. As such they should be treated as a priority sector for any government support.

“The energy support for businesses announced today is absolutely necessary and will assist childcare providers, but we need to see the detail on how it will work in practice. However, they need support for longer than six months to avoid a cliff edge in early spring.

“Other costs that early years settings face are going up at a much faster rate than Government funding rates, which are still too low for the most nurseries to remain sustainable. Nurseries are working hard to minimise fee increases to parents that are already struggling with their own household bills.

“We are already seeing the impact of high costs on the sector, with 65% more nurseries closing this summer than in the previous summer. If there aren’t enough childcare places, this damages both the economy and also children’s development and life chances.

“The Government must mark the early years sector as vulnerable and continue assisting these businesses with their energy costs, along with further measures to safeguard childcare places. Removing business rates and VAT would at least put nurseries on a level playing field with schools and local authority settings.”

Read the statement from the Secretary of BEIS here.

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