BUSINESS LIVE: Energy crisis bailout planned; Job vacancies hit 20-year high

BUSINESS LIVE: Government plans energy crisis bailout; UK job vacancies hit 20-year high; Oil prices continue to rise

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to sign off a bailout worth hundreds of millions of pounds for major industries threatened with ruin by the energy crisis, siding with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng following his spat with Chancellor Rishi Sunak over extra funds.

Support is most likely come in the form of loans, rather than handouts or a price cap, with the Prime Minister having been convinced that sectors including steel, chemicals, ceramics and paper need short-term help.

Oil prices topped $84 a barrel for the first time in three years yesterday as the energy crisis gripping major economies intensified.

Brent crude rose as high as $84.60 in London – a level not seen since October 2018 – while the US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, traded above $81 a barrel, its highest since late 2014.

British job vacancies hit another record high of 1.2million last month, amid post-pandemic labour shortages.

ONS data shows the number of posts available spiked again despite unemployment continuing to fall – down 0.4 per cent in the latest quarter to August.

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The Prime Minister has sided with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng (pictured) over plans to bailout major industries threatened with ruin by the energy crisis