BUSINESSES around Swindon and Wiltshire have reacted to the new prime minister's plan to help people struggling with rising energy bills.

Liz Truss has pledged that a typical household will not pay more than £2,500 per year for the next two years, and business' bills will be capped for six months. How the government will cover the cost of these measured is not yet known.

Matt Griffith is the director of policy at regional chamber of commerce Business West.

He said: “Business West warmly welcomes protection for households in our region and is relieved that equivalent protection has been promised for business customers for this coming winter.

“We await detail about how this will work in practice for firms in our region and what happens to bills beyond the initial six-month period if prices remain high.

"Businesses need long term market regulation to provide certainty and stability to support their otherwise viable operations.

“We want to encourage members and concerned businesses to get in touch with us.

"This will ensure we represent and speak for businesses like yours in our work directly and through the British Chambers of Commerce network with key decision makers."

Fiona Scott, of Scott Media, lives in Swindon and has run her small business for almost 15 years. 

She said: "I'm very pleased that this ridiculous situation over energy bills is being dealt with as it was unsustainable for many, including single parent families, those on fixed income and those on low income.

"However, the support for small businesses is vague and I worry about the absolutely vital green agenda being kicked down the road again.

"Investing in green infrastructure for both businesses and households is even more vital now."

Samantha Jayne is a business coach who lives in Swindon and has run her own business for more than 20 years.

She added: "I am glad to see something being done and I hope that it is enough to make a difference.

"I am seeing an increasing number of clients struggling with high anxiety and fear over their futures financially and I hope that this will bring them some comfort.

"I hope this will free the money needed in household budgets for clients to be able to now get the therapies they need as many therapists have seen a drop in clients booking in, even for essential mental health sessions, for themselves and their children due to a lack of free cash."