ESTHER McVey is calling for a fresh take on complicated business rate charges faced by gas storage companies.

Workers at the Stublach Storengy site in King Street told the Tatton MP that the way gas storage companies are charged business rates needs to be looked at to help Britain remain energy self-sufficient.

Gas stored underground is liable for business rates calculated on the storage surface area, but the industry argues that the land above is often used for agriculture so in turn is producing double revenue.

Ms McVey said: “This is an extremely complicated issue which crosses many government departments but something that we need to be looking at.

“As a country we need to be self-sufficient in gas and do not want to be in the position where gas cannot be stored here and therefore sourced from other countries. It is important this is sorted for the Stublach site and also nationally.

“The price of gas affects everyone and Government is committed to helping older people keep warm through our cold weather payment scheme and also the winter fuel allowance.

“It is about keeping the price of gas and electricity as low as possible and this clearly is a problem that could arise in future and is part of the pricing chain, so needs addressing.

“We need to do what we can to ensure we are producing enough gas to meet our need.”

The industry wants a rate relief introduced for gas storage to ensure the businesses remain economically viable.