IAN Blackford has accused the UK Government of reimposing Thatcherite policies on Scotland after Tory ministers refused to give support to businesses amid the energy crisis.

The SNP Westminster leader hit out as Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said he won’t “bail out failing energy suppliers” despite gas prices being at record highs.

Kwarteng also said that keeping the price cap in place was “non-negotiable” and that his priority is protecting consumers.

However, Blackford said that the issue is a “perfect storm” and we should “all be worried” by the impact of the rise of gas prices while the UK Government simultaneously made a cut to Universal Credit payments.

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Blackford said the price cap gives some protection, but not full, and said the issue is not going to go away quickly.

He commented: “If you end up in a situation that more energy providers have to hedge by buying additional supplies, all they’re actually doing is forcing energy prices up more and more.

“So there’s a real issue here and there’s a real issue about some larger providers being in a quite delicate situations and the impact that that is going to have.

“Government can’t walk away from its responsibilities, we need to be sure that we can bring some calm and order to all of this.”

Earlier, Kwarteng (pictured below) was asked on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show if he is going to give extra help to energy-intensive industries, like steel.

The National:

He said: “We’re looking to find a solution.”

Marr said that that sounds like a yes, to which the minister replied: “No, that doesn’t sound like yes at all.

“We already have existing support and we’re looking to see if that’s sufficient to get us through this situation.”

He added: “I’ve been very clear we’re not going to bail out failing energy suppliers.”

On being informed of the Business Secretary’s position, Blackford told The Sunday Show: “This is like Thatcher all over again, isn’t it?

“Government has to recognise it has a responsibility to nurse businesses through this, to provide short-term support.

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“If we end up in a situation, for example, where steel production stops in west central Scotland that helps nobody.

“So we’ve got to make sure that companies have got the assistance they need in the short term while we get through this.

“If not, we’re all going to pay a price because we’re going to end up with higher unemployment, we’re going to end up with supply constraints; we’re ending up in a situation, by the way – and the real worry I have out of this – is that inflation is now increasing.

“The Bank of England and the Government have been slow to react to this; we’re now seeing wage inflation – in fact the Prime Minister is encouraging wage inflation. That runs the risk that we end up with higher inflation for longer and the consequences of all of that.

“This is a serious problem.”

We previously told how the Scottish Greens said the energy crisis is an “excellent example” of why Scotland needs independence.

And, the head of Ofgem has said there is no end in sight to the energy crisis as household bills are set to soar further.

The UK Government have already been told by industry leaders that rising energy costs need to be tackled “right now” amid fears over a difficult winter.