THE UK Government is looking into giving more energy bill help to businesses even as it refuses to commit to helping households more, it has emerged.

Tory Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said that it is “essential” to help heavy industry to cut production costs - at the same time as ministers are being warned that a lack of action to help the public will "cost lives".

While Boris Johnson has said there will be further help coming later in the year, he failed to make any announcement after meeting with energy bosses on Thursday. 

As energy bills are now predicted to rise to more than £5000 by the spring, experts like Martin Lewis are demanding action immediately to tackle this pandemic-level challenge.

The consumer expert said the ongoing Tory leadership contest is no reason to kick the can down the road, and branded that excuse "complete bull" earlier this week.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon reveals cost-of-living package, saying inaction will cost lives

The massive spike in energy costs will force families to make stark choices between eating and heating their homes, campaigners say.

What is Kwasi Kwarteng proposing?

But now Kwarteng is proposing doing more for businesses, suggesting that the Government increases the exemption from some environmental and policy costs that certain companies were given in March.

The new proposal would increase the exemption from 85% to cover 100% of the costs.

“British manufacturers are the lifeblood of our economy and central to our plans to overcome this period of economic uncertainty,” Kwarteng said.

“With global energy prices at record highs, it is essential we explore what more we can do to deliver a competitive future for those strategic industries so we can cut production costs and protect jobs across the UK.”

The proposals would bring relief to companies that use a lot of electricity including steel and paper mills.

The price of electricity has risen more for industries in the UK than in other countries, the Government said. This could hamper investment and the viability of these businesses, it added.

As a result, glass, ceramics and cement companies could be among those who leave the country.

Gareth Stace, the director general of UK Steel, said: “The publication of this consultation is a significant step forward in delivering competitive electricity prices for the UK steel sector and should provide some much-needed relief in the face of extremely challenging circumstances at the current time.

“While there remain difficulties, this announcement demonstrates that UK Government understands the challenges of British industry and continues to support steelmakers and steel communities across the country.”

READ MORE: Enough is Enough campaign plans rallies in Scotland as part of 50 protests across UK

The new proposal would help around 300 businesses and support 60,000 jobs in the UK.

UK Government "holds the key powers"

Commenting, the SNP’s shadow work and pensions spokesperson Kirsty Blackman MP said the UK Government should be doing more for both businesses and households.

"The Scottish Government is doing what it can with its limited powers, and has set out a package of measures it will take following its Resilience Meeting, but it is Westminster who hold the key powers.

"It must immediately double the energy payments and ensure they are paid by October, scrap the upcoming price cap increase, bring in an energy price cap for small and medium businesses, and deliver a further wide-ranging windfall tax."

Blackman added that the Universal Credit uplift should be reinstated and increased to £25, a Real Living Wage should be brought in and the two-child cap, benefit cap and sanctions should be scrapped.

“Any threat to the spending power and incomes of households is a threat to the revenue and success of business, a basic idea the Tories seem to have failed to have grasped as they continually rule out serious financial support," she went on.

“The reality of life in Tory Britain will hit hard and hit fast if the reluctance to step in and help the most vulnerable persists from this zombie government - all the more reason Scotland needs a clean break from Westminster and an end to Tory rule forever with the full powers of independence.”

What more is the UK Government doing for households now energy bills are due to go to £5000?

On Friday, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News: “Yesterday I met with the industry to look at what more we can do with the industry on direct debit, on pre-payment meters, all the things that families are worried about, we’re making sure we’re doing the work so on September 5 the new prime minister can hit the ground running and get those things into place.”

Johnson said after the industry meeting that any “significant fiscal decisions” would be be a matter for his successor.

The National:

Instead the Prime Minister was reduced to urging the companies to act “in the national interest” in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has caused the price of oil and gas to soar.

He argued countries around the world are suffering - failing to note that UK energy bills are going up by 215% overall, while the EU average is just 41%.

“Following our meeting today, we will keep urging the electricity sector to continue working on ways we can ease the cost of living pressures and to invest further and faster in British energy security," he said.