7 February 2023
Aldous seeks Government support for energy-intensive metal-finishing businesses

Peter Aldous calls on the Government to review the support available to metal-finishing businesses, which are extremely energy-intensive, to prevent them losing business to overseas competitors and to strengthen our supply chain and enhance national security.

Businesses: Energy Costs

Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con)

11. What fiscal steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to support businesses with energy costs. (903525)

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (James Cartlidge)

With your permission, Mr Speaker, I will answer Question 10 with what I believe to be Questions 11 and 20.

Mr Speaker 


James Cartlidge 

Thank you, Mr Speaker. It is good when a Treasury Minister gets the numbers right.

I can confirm that the Government are supporting businesses with energy costs during the winter by means of the energy bill relief scheme. The scheme came into effect on 1 October 2022, and will run until 31 March this year. Following the review of the operation of the current scheme, we announced that we would launch a new energy bills discount scheme, which will provide eligible, non-domestic energy users—including eligible hospices—with a discount on their energy bills for a further 12 months from 1 April until 31 March next year.

Peter Aldous 

Metal finishing is a vital component of many strategic industries, including defence, aerospace and energy. Although the process is extremely energy-intensive, businesses such as MP Eastern in Lowestoft do not currently qualify for the additional support that is available, and are therefore losing business to overseas competitors. In order to stop that, strengthen our own supply chain and enhance national security, will my hon. Friend review the support that is available to metal-finishing businesses?

James Cartlidge 

My hon. Friend and county colleague is always championing his local businesses in the Chamber—[Interruption.] I am glad that the hon. Member for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Angus Brendan MacNeil) agrees with me that my hon. Friend is a stalwart champion of his constituency businesses.

We have taken a consistent approach to identifying the most energy and trade-intensive sectors, with all sectors that meet agreed thresholds for energy and trade intensity eligible for ETII support. The firms eligible for the scheme are those operating within sectors that fall above the 80th percentile for energy intensity and the 60th percentile for trade intensity, and those operating within sectors that are eligible for the existing energy-intensive industries compensation exemption scheme. As ever, my hon. Friend is welcome to write to me about the specifics.