Published:

Kwarteng calls for multi-million pound bailout to help industry cope with soaring gas costs

“Kwasi Kwarteng has submitted proposals to the Treasury for a bailout package worth several hundred million pounds to help energy-intensive industries suffering from soaring costs. The Business Secretary is understood to have sought temporary subsidies for sectors including steel, glass, ceramics and paper, which have been hit after the wholesale price of gas more than quadrupled in the past year. The Treasury acknowledged receipt of his submission, which officials are now examining. However, it warned that any financial support for business had to take into account of the impact on the taxpayer. “We will do what is in the best interest of both consumers and taxpayers,” a Treasury spokeswoman said. Mr Kwarteng held talks with industry leaders last week, with ministers and officials set to continue speaking to businesses over the coming days.” – Daily Telegraph

  • No 10 backs BEIS as split with Treasury emerges in energy row – The Guardian
  • State loans for firms hit by gas price rises – The Times
  • Sunak considers rescue plan for UK sectors hit by energy crisis – FT
  • Business Secretary goes cap in hand to Treasury for gas bill bailout – The Sun
  • Industry bailouts will depend on size of bosses’ bonuses, minister warns – Daily Telegraph
  • Tories fear losing red wall if energy crisis destroys jobs – The Times
  • Agnew points finger at Putin’s war or warmth ploy on gas prices – The Times

Comment:

  • British employers face imminent ruin due to energy crisis – Steve Baker MP, Times Red Box

>Yesterday: Damian Green MP in Comment: Wage-price spirals. Cost-push inflation. A brief guide to 1970s economic jargon. It may come in useful.

Sunak ‘planning £2bn in cuts and the UK’s highest peacetime tax rate’

“Rishi Sunak is poised to usher in cuts worth £2bn for government departments tasked with meeting the Tories’ flagship “levelling up” agenda, despite planning for the biggest tax raid in a generation. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said the chancellor was on track to lift the UK’s tax burden to the highest sustained level in peacetime with a package of manifesto-busting tax increases at this month’s budget and spending review. While the tax raid would help fund an expansion in the state to the highest level of government spending since 1985, the leading independent thinktank for the public finances said several Whitehall departments would still face budget cuts. In an intervention ahead of Sunak’s landmark post-lockdown budget due later this month, the IFS said perennially squeezed areas such as local government, further education, prisons and courts could have their budgets cut by more than £2bn next year.” – The Guardian

  • Think-tank says there will be little extra money available for government departments – FT

>Today: ToryDiary: Sympathy for Sunak

‘Tone-deaf’ ministers to announce plans to hike gas bills by £159

“Tone-deaf ministers will next week announce plans to hike gas bills by £159, The Sun can reveal. Despite soaring energy costs and factories preparing to shutter this winter, Boris Johnson will double down on his controversial Net Zero Strategy ahead of next month’s COP26 climate summit. And central to it will be the controversial Heating and Boiler strategy that will seek to make electricity cheaper and gas more expensive over the next 15 years. The PM will argue that electricity – which is the cleanest it has ever been – is kept artificially expensive, hitting efforts to get people to switch to electric cars and central heating. But insiders say it will take years of listening exercises and legislation before the green levies currently slapped on electricity can be moved over to gas bills.” – The Sun 

  • Shoppers face higher food prices in run-up to Christmas after government deal – The Sun
  • Sharma will warn world leaders they must honour promise to limit global temperature rises – Daily Mail
  • High street sales collapse as fuel shortages bite – Daily Telegraph
  • Three quarters of Red Wall voters want Johnson to slash business rates to save the high street – The Sun

Comment:

  • Johnson risks betraying his northern voters – Andrew Percy, Times Red Box

>Yesterday: Howard Flight’s column: It’s time Conservative MPs opposed the Treasury’s spending bandwagon

Downing Street says targets will not be set for the return of civil servants to Whitehall offices

“Downing Street today said targets will not be set for the return of civil servants to Whitehall despite Boris Johnson urging the nation to ditch working from home. Number 10 said that ‘we are seeing a steady return of civil servants to in-office working’ and ‘there are no plans for any targets’. The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said the civil service is ‘following the guidance to gradually increase the number of staff in the workplace’ and ‘we are confident we will continue to see numbers increase’. Mr Johnson said during his Conservative Party conference speech in Manchester last Wednesday that ‘we will and must see people back in the office’. The final step of the PM’s lockdown exit plan saw advice to work from home where possible end on July 19. The Government has repeatedly said the return to offices is a matter for employers and employees.” – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: David Gauke’s column: Johnson’s party is more socially conservative, populist and economically interventionist. But how much?

Teenagers should get jabbed, Javid and Zawahi tell parents

“Reluctant teenagers should ignore fake news and get a coronavirus vaccine, ministers have urged. Sajid Javid, the health secretary, and Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary, are seeking to boost low take-up of the jab among teenagers by writing to their parents to insist the vaccines are safe. Only 12 per cent of those aged 12-15 have had a first vaccine dose, well behind the 56 per cent of those aged 16 and 17, let alone rates of over 90 per cent in over-60s. All parents of secondary school pupils in England are to receive letters urging them to come forward for a vaccine and continue with regular testing. Officials believe the vaccination of under-16s is being slowed down by the insistence on asking parents for consent through schools, which takes time to organise.” – The Times

  • Tory MP embroiled in race row after mixing up Asian ministers – Daily Telegraph

More:

  • Britain must learn from ‘big mistakes’ on Covid, says report – The Times
  • The elderly were ‘just an afterthought’ – Daily Mail
  • UK’s early herd immunity strategy was ‘public health failure’ – FT

Health Secretary ‘working on radical plan to merge social care with health in England’

“Radical plans for a new national care service under which health and social care would be delivered by the same organisation are being actively considered by the government for inclusion in a white paper next month, according to senior Conservatives and Whitehall sources. The idea of local authorities and the NHS taking joint responsibility for social care, perhaps working from a single combined budget for the first time, would amount to one of the most far-reaching reforms since the NHS was founded in 1948. At present, local authorities have responsibility for running social care services in their own areas. Critics say there is, as a result, insufficient incentive for cash-strapped councils to develop better care for people in their homes or in the community, as it is cheaper for them if those in need go into hospital where the cost is met from the separate NHS budget.” – The Guardian

  • £12bn levy not enough to fix health system, Prime Minister told – The Times
  • Households may have to fork out another £19billion in the coming years for care – Daily Mail
  • Johnson ‘will need to treble NICs tax raid to keep funding endlessly ballooning NHS budget’ – The Sun

>Today: Richard Sloggett in Comment: The doctor won’t see you now. Why the Government needs an urgent plan for primary care.

Nearly 6,000 new homes will be built on brownfield land by 2024, vows Gove

“Almost 6,000 additional homes will be built on brownfield land by 2024, Michael Gove announced on Monday, as he vowed to protect the UK’s “cherished countryside” against development. Councils have been allocated £58 million to help them clear disused land and demolish “unsightly” derelict buildings, car parks and garages in order to make way for new communities. The 53 local authorities in receipt of the funds will then be able to distribute the land for social and affordable housing or sell it on to developers, with £25 million made available for self-build and custom-build projects. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said it hoped the cash, taken from a £75 million Brownfield Land Release Fund, would deliver 5,600 new properties within three years.” – Daily Telegraph

EU at risk of making ‘historic misjudgment’ over protocol concessions, warns Frost

“Brussels will be making a “historic misjudgment” if it fails to make fresh concessions on the Northern Ireland Protocol, Lord Frost will warn on Tuesday. In a speech in Lisbon, Portugal, the Brexit minister will urge the European Commission to bend its rules and accept that the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) involvement in the province must end. Urging the bloc to focus on the bigger picture, Lord Frost will add that if two sides can finally break the deadlock they will be able to unite and refocus on the shared challenges confronting the West, including China and Russia. “We would have a chance to move forward to a new, and better, equilibrium,” he will go on to say. His intervention will kick-start a pivotal week in discussions between Brussels and London over the future of Northern Ireland, during which the UK will present draft legal texts setting out its alternative to the protocol.” – Daily Telegraph

  • UK doubles down on demand for reform of Brexit deal – FT
  • EU ‘close to the end of the road’ over Ulster – The Guardian

More:

  • DUP leader gambles with threat to dissolve Northern Irish executive – FT

Macron ‘humiliated’ in Brexit row over fishing

“France has been rebuffed by other European governments as it tried to get more EU support in its battle against Britain over fishing licences. President Macron is angry that licences for boats that want to fish in British waters have been refused. In an original declaration circulated at the weekend, France attacked the UK for “a clear failure to comply with the provisions” of the Brexit trade and co-operation agreement. Initial claims of support, briefed by French officials, claimed that most EU countries supported the call for Britain to back down “as soon as possible” over “unsatisfactory” behaviour. Instead, reluctant to be drawn into a row regarded as a French issue, only ten European governments signed up to wording that urged merely “further technical work in accordance with the spirit and the letter of the agreement”.” – The Times

  • EU members refuse to enter fishing war against Brexit Britain – Daily Express
  • We will start sending money to France to stop migrants crossing, Hinds says – The Times

More trade:

  • Britain’s ‘trade yacht’ to be granted national security role – FT
  • Truss parades her claim for disputed Chevening – The Times

>Today: Richard Holden MP’s column: Why are we still shackled by EU rules that force investment abroad?

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Truss – exploited by those who put tax cuts first, exploiter of those who put tax cuts first

News in Brief:

  • The Rashford trap – Patrick O’Flynn, The Critic
  • The Tories can save Blue Labour – Aris Roussinos, UnHerd
  • Why liberals must stand with Stock – Julie Bindel, The Spectator
  • Not all Scots welcome COP26 – Philip Patrick, CapX