BusinessBusiness RecoveryBritish Energy cost taxpayers £410m

British Energy cost taxpayers £410m

Taxpayers had to pay out £410m to British Energy because the government ignored warning signals over the company's finances, the National Audit Office has claimed.

Link: Taxpayers to cough up more for British Energy

A report from the NAO said that poor regulation by the Department of Trade and Industry meant taxpayers had to meet the debts of the company that runs the UK’s nuclear power stations.

The NAO said ministers failed to monitor how changes in the electricity market would hit British Energy’s costs and profits.

Instead, they adopted a ‘wait and see’ approach, despite growing financial evidence that British energy was vulnerable to falls in the electricity market.

Last year the company, which produces 20% of all the UK’s electricity, was given a life-saving debt restructuring deal.

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