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Budget Reaction: Statement from BEIS Committee

15 March 2023

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee welcomes the Chancellor’s adoption of our recommendations to: 

  • Treat pre-payment energy customers fairly, by making the price of energy equal between those who pay by direct debit and those who pay on a pre-payment meter 
  • Speed up the delivery of a viable market for carbon capture and storage 
  • Review the leadership of local economic growth policy, with a review including local enterprise partnerships and local authorities 

Chair quote

Commenting, Darren Jones MP, Chair of the Committee said:  

“We remain concerned that a fragmented approach to local and regional economic growth ownership continues to grow, with the addition of investment zones on top of existing enterprise areas, enterprise zones, local economic partnerships, city deals, combined authorities, power houses and freeports.”  

“It remains unclear whether the Government is committed to industrial strategy or not. The Chancellor mentioned industrial strategy in his speech today but has not published an industrial strategy. We continue to call on the Government to speed up the publication of important strategies, including for semi-conductors, so that investors and business leaders have a clear view of Ministerial priorities.” 

“We welcome the interventions to support more people into work and will reflect on the announced measures in detail as we prepare our report on the UK Labour Market, to be published in the coming weeks.” 

“The reannouncement of support for nuclear energy and the creation of GB Nuclear still fails to answer how the Government will ensure the financing and delivery of nuclear power in the UK. Other than full expensing of capital investment, there seems to be little new support for the required rapid expansion of renewable energy or support for tackling the bottle necks faced by the industry, not least in being able to connect to the electricity grid.” 

“Whilst the Chancellor mentioned his target to reduce energy demand, he once again failed to set out how the Government intends to hit that target. We are disappointed that the Government has once again failed to support a national roll-out of energy efficiency works. Whilst the £20bn of funding for the early development of carbon capture and storage is welcome, it’s not clear how that commitment is being funded.”    

“We understand there will be further energy related announcements on Net Zero later this month and we will consider the detail of those announcements then, alongside our current inquiry into decarbonisation of the power sector.”  

“Investment in science and technology is welcome, but concerns remain about the cut to research and development support for small and medium sized businesses and the removal of the budget allocation for the UK’s association to the EU’s research programme, Horizon Europe.” 

Further information

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