Monday 11 October 2021 / 4:44 PM Economy / Energy / Rachel Reeves

Labour calls on Rishi Sunak to come out of hiding and support energy intensive industries

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has written this afternoon to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling on him to support energy intensive industries as the crisis escalates.

The Party has slammed Sunak as “missing in action” after weeks of denials from government about the energy and cost of living crisis, as well as very public tensions between the Chancellor and the Business Secretary over the weekend.

With whole sectors in crisis and energy intensive industries like steel, ceramics, glass, paper and chemicals calling on government to engage with them, Labour is ramping up its call on the Government to support the energy intensive industries.

And the Party is also demanding a guarantee that no business in energy intensive sectors will be allowed to fail, solely because of the current temporary increase in energy prices.

Reeves posed the following questions to the Chancellor in her letter:

  • What assessment have you and your department made of the number of businesses in energy intensive industries that are at risk of collapse, and the number of jobs they support, due to recent rises in the wholesale cost of energy?

  • What planning is underway in your department should the wholesale cost of energy remain elevated for a long period of time?

  • Do you plan to meet with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to alleviate the impact of energy price rises on energy intensive businesses?

  • Have you or have you not discussed with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the energy price crisis affecting energy intensive businesses?

  • How many meetings have you had with businesses in these industries and trade unions to discuss the energy price crisis in recent weeks?

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, wrote:

“Our brilliant British industries are a crucial cornerstone of our economy, and we should be supporting them to boost our recovery.

“The Government should be protecting and supporting them through a crisis which has come about from their own lack of planning.

“They have a duty to get an immediate grip on this situation, and businesses need reassurance that this is happening.

“It’s crucial to also see the Government out reassuring the public that they won’t be hit with more rising costs as millions are left with less money in their pockets. Not doing so is looking increasingly out of touch.”