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FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak leaves 10 Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions in the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, November, December 14, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo

UK’s Sunak to halve support that helps businesses pay fuel bills -The Times

(Reuters) – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is poised to halve financial support on energy bills for businesses, amid concerns about the cost, The Times reported, without citing sources.

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss had announced in September a six-month scheme to subsidise the wholesale price for businesses.

UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt “will announce a 12-month extension to the scheme but with the level of support more than halved, amid concerns about taxpayers’ exposure to fluctuating energy prices,” the newspaper reported.

The report comes after British public borrowing during last month hit its highest for any November on record, reflecting the mounting cost of energy subsidies, debt interest and the reversal of an increase in payroll taxes.

The new scheme is expected to cost less than 20 billion pounds ($24.09 billion) over 12 months, compared with 40 billion pounds for the existing one, the report added.

The businesses would get a discount of up to 345 pounds for a megawatt hour of electricity and 91 pounds for a megawatt hour of gas, it said.

UK Prime Minister’s Office and finance ministry office did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

($1 = 0.8302 pounds)

 

(Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese)