Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has told Sky News that the price cap on consumers’ energy bills “will not be moved” this winter and he is “convinced” that the UK won’t suffer gas shortages in the coming months.
Speaking to the Trevor Phillips On Sunday show, Mr Kwarteng said he was “convinced we will have full energy supply” despite soaring wholesale gas prices around the world – although he stopped short of offering a full guarantee that there wouldn’t be disruption.
“I’m as certain as I could be,” he said. “Because obviously this is a global issue, so we’ve seen right across the world real supply chain pressures, you’ve seen the Chinese have power blackouts, they’re rationing supply.
“Here in the UK our job is to make sure there is minimal disruption and I’m very confident.”
The business secretary added: “There are two elements here; one is obviously the global price and I can’t predict, nobody can predict that.
“But one thing I am responsible for is the resilience of the UK system and, in that, I’m very confident we will be resilient.”
Mr Kwarteng also inisisted that huge price hikes in wholesale gas would not be wholly passed onto households as the energy price cap would remain unchanged this winter.
“I’ve been very clear about this. The price cap is the biggest shield in terms of consumer prices and I’ve said repeatedly that it will not be moved,” he added.
“It was set in August for the six-month period between 1 October and 1 April and it’s not being moved.
“Many companies during this period have said we should lift the price cap or get rid of it.
“And I’ve been very clear that it can’t be moved because it does offer consumers the protection we all need against very, very high upswings in the price.”