Global Gas Prices

Part of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons at on 16 November 2021.

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Photo of Alan Whitehead Alan Whitehead Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

I think the technically correct answer to the question posed by my hon. Friend Shabana Mahmood is (a) none and (b) none.

The Secretary of State claimed that he was in talks with the Treasury about assistance for energy-intensive industries a month ago; it turns out that he was not, and nothing has happened since. Meanwhile, wholesale gas prices remain at around 200p per therm, compared with 39p per therm a year ago. Industry is suffering grievously and 40% of energy companies have now gone bust, leaving more than 2 million customers without a supplier and forced to take on new suppliers, often at great cost to their bills. Even with the price cap, bills are likely to rise by a further £200 in the spring. This is a train wreck, so what is the Minister doing now to rescue passengers from the carriages and put the rolling stock back on the lines? Or will he just continue to act the part of a disinterested bystander?