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LONDON: Britain on Wednesday launched a six-month plan starting in October to pay about half of energy bills for businesses, as Prime Minister Liz Truss seeks to stop companies going under as a result of rocketing prices.

The news precedes a mini-budget Friday when finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng is expected to unveil tax cuts to help a nation struggling with decades-high inflation.

Wholesale electricity and gas prices for businesses — except the energy sector — as well as charities, hospitals and schools will be capped at half the expected cost on the open market, the government said in a statement.

The announcement comes after Truss launched plans for a two-year household energy price freeze which also starts next month.

“We have stepped in to stop businesses collapsing, protect jobs and limit inflation,” Kwarteng said Wednesday.

The chancellor of the exchequer will Friday set out the overall cost of both energy freeze schemes.

His budget will seek to boost economic growth amid forecasts that Britain will this year sink into recession on sky-high energy bills fuelled by the invasion of Ukraine by major oil and gas producer Russia.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) welcomed Wednesday’s announcement.

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