Mourning period won’t delay energy bill freeze, says No 10 | Energy bills

Liz Truss’s plans to legislate a £100 billion relief package for energy bills will not be affected by 10 days of national mourning for the Queen, despite parliament being canceled for next week, Downing Street said.

The government is postponing most work until after the Queen’s funeral, but Truss’ team must implement the package ahead of the energy price rise due to come into effect on October 1.

Parliament is unlikely to return until after the Queen’s funeral, with September 19 or 20 the earliest possible dates. However, it is due to break again on September 22 for the recess of his party’s convention, and Truss is supposed to be in New York for the UN general assembly for part of this week.

On Friday, Downing Street said plans would be put in place to ensure the support package is made available on time and suggested no legislation would be needed to implement the £2,500 cap on average bills.

“The public should be reassured that the energy price guarantee will be in place for households from 1 October as planned,” said the Trust’s official spokesman.

“We implement this guarantee initially through private contracts with suppliers and not through legislation, so this mourning period does not affect this introduction.

“We are urgently working now on the wider aspects of the policy to ensure it can be implemented. As it stands, we do not believe that the mourning period will affect the delivery of the policy, nor do we believe that it requires any kind of legislative moments during the mourning period.

“We will work with the President to introduce any legislation that is required as soon as possible after the end of the mourning period.”

With ministers refraining from outlining further details during the mourning period, energy suppliers are expected to contact customers before October 1 to explain how the announcement affects them.

Truss also announced an immediate lifting of England’s fracking ban this week, despite the Conservative manifesto vowing not to do so unless scientifically proven to be safe amid earthquake concerns.

However, a British Geological Survey review into the safety of shale gas extraction has been postponed from its scheduled publication on Thursday. Downing Street said this would not be published now until after the mourning period. A spokesman for No 10 said it would come “once this term is over”.

The party’s conference period has already been affected by national mourning, with next week’s Trade Union conference in Brighton postponed.

The Liberal Democrat conference is also a negative as it is scheduled for next week, potentially conflicting with the Queen’s funeral, which is likely to take place on Sunday 18 or Monday 19 September. Party sources said it was unlikely to be delayed for another time, but could be curtailed or cancelled.

Labour’s conference, due to start on Sunday 25 September in Liverpool, is thought to be very likely to go ahead.

A Tory source put the chances of the Conservative party conference going ahead in Birmingham on Sunday October 2 at 85-90%, with a decision “in the coming days”.

Discussions between the parties’ whips have taken place over the possibility of canceling the entire season, with one source saying the Tories appeared keener on the idea of ​​a postponement, but that no agreement had been reached and ultimately the two main parties were expected to move on.

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