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Gas price spike to push more UK suppliers out of business, officials say

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LONDON, Sept 22 (Reuters) – The unprecedented jump in natural gas prices will force more British energy suppliers out of business and the industry needs to prepare for prolonged pain, energy officials and the business minister said on Wednesday.

A 500% jump in the price of UK gas over the last year has already caused several providers to go bust and the head of regulator Ofgem told parliament he expected the number to rise.

That could push hundreds of thousands of customers onto more expensive packages, just as the COVID-19 furlough scheme and a welfare support comes to an end.

British business minister Kwasi Kwarteng added that while such a sharp spike in the gas price would be expected to ease, he said: “We have to prepare for longer-term high prices.”

Analysts have said they expect prices to remain high until next year.

Kwarteng said however that Britain had robust systems to cope with company failures, and that small firms who had recently entered the…

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