Kwasi Kwarteng in the House of Commons: “No throwback to 1970s, no three-day working weeks”

The Secretary of State made a statement to the House on the subject of global gas price hikes and said protecting consumers is the government’s primary focus

The Big Zero report

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The UK’s gas supply is secure and we will have enough energy for the winter. However, more energy suppliers are likely to go bust in the coming days. That was the government’s outlook for the current crisis.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng updated the House of Commons this afternoon on the global gas price rise,  which has hit the UK’s energy market in the last few days.

Striking a confident tone he said: “We have sufficient capacity and more than sufficient capacity to meet demand and we do not expect supply emergencies to occur this winter. There’s absolutely no question of the lights going out or people being unable to heat their homes. There will not be three-day working weeks or throwback to the 1970s.

“Such thinking is unhelpful and completely misguided.

“Firstly, I must stress that protecting consumers is our number one, the primary focus and will shape our entire approach to this important issue. Secondly, I want also to reassure the House that while the UK like other countries in Europe has been affected by global prices, Britain benefits from having a diverse range of gas supply sources.”

In the last couple of weeks, four energy suppliers have gone bust, while Bulb said it was looking for emergency funding to keep trading.

This morning the Business and Energy Secretary led a roundtable with energy firms and consumer groups.

In these meetings, Mr Kwarteng said that his task was to ensure that any energy supplier failures cause the least amount of disruption to customers.

He added: “In any scenario, we will ensure UK consumers have continuity of supply through a Supplier of Last Resort or a special administrator if needed.”

During the weekend the Business and Energy Secretary held meetings with energy bosses and Ofgem’s Chief Executive.

He also confirmed there would be no government bailout for the companies that have gone under.

Commenting on the state of the energy market he reiterated the controversial energy price cap would remain in place.

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