THE SNP have said that businesses are facing the “real potential of a cliff-edge” following the UK Government’s announcement of its plans to help those struggling with soaring energy costs 

The Energy Bill Relief Scheme will mean that wholesale energy prices for all firms will be capped on October 1.

Savings will first be seen in November when October bills are typically received. 

However, the SNP’s Stephen Flynn has said that the announcement did not come soon enough.  

READ MORE: Wholesale energy prices set to be capped for businesses, UK Government announces

He said: “The reality is that, for many businesses, this announcement comes too late and for others it still leaves them wondering what will happen in just six months time. 

“Without any form of certainty there is the real potential of a cliff-edge, not to mention the fact that there still appears to be no clarity from Government regarding how much this will cost and who will pay.”

Liz Truss has previously outlined her opposition to imposing a windfall tax on energy companies. 

Businesses are only set to receive help for six months but there will be a review for “vulnerable businesses”. 

On Wednesday, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association welcomed the Scheme but said that it “doesn’t live up to the hype”. 

Flynn continued: “While the Tories propose plans to help bankers by scrapping the cap on bonuses, and energy companies make billions in excess profits, businesses and households will be struggling to get by.

READ MORE: Scottish businesses warn UK Government energy cap plan is ‘not enough’

“Ultimately, Scotland should not find itself in this situation – we are an energy rich nation being dragged through this crisis due to the complete mismanagement of our energy resources by Westminster.”

Energy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens Mark Ruskell said that although some support was welcome, costs would still be too high for many.

He said: “These measures will relieve some of the anxiety that many business owners have been feeling for months. 

“However, even with the cap, costs will still be far too high for many small businesses who are being stretched from lots of different directions. What they need is clarity, support and long-term certainty about their costs.”

The scheme will apply to all businesses in Scotland, England and Wales with something similar set to run in Northern Ireland. 

Hospitals, schools and other settings including churches and community centres will all be given support. 

Ruskell added: “The cost crisis that so many are feeling has been fuelled by Downing Street. Today’s announcement should not detract from the vital need to invest in renewable energy, improve the efficiency of our buildings and restructure the energy market to ensure that it works for people and the planet.”

Following the anouncement, Truss said: “We know that businesses are very concerned about the level of their energy bills. 

“That’s why we are putting in place a scheme for businesses that will be equivalent to the scheme for households to make sure that businesses are able to get through the winter. 

“We’re going to review it after six months. We’ll make sure that the most vulnerable businesses like pubs, like shops, continue to be supported after that.”

Flynn added: “The only way to escape this cost of living with the Westminster crisis is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to build a more prosperous, fairer nation.”