Rishi Sunak ‘throws meat at socialists’


Pensioners will receive £850 to cover their energy bills under the new £15billion cost of living rescue scheme funded in part by the windfall tax.

The Chancellor has pledged to give every UK family a one-time cash payment of £400 this autumn, with eight million of the most vulnerable households receiving help worth £1,200.

He was forced to dramatically increase the total financial package from £22bn to £37bn – or 1.5% of GDP – after a poll found one in five Britons are now struggling to make ends meet.

Read on for more details and this article explains how much you will get as part of the package.

Unintended consequences

Yet the Chancellor’s plans will by no means solve the energy price crisis facing households.

The support package will offset less than a fifth of the cost increases middle-class families face this year.

Struggling Middle England has been left out of many of the support schemes, and the state payment accounts for just 14% of the total extra bills families have to bear.

Meanwhile, UK pension funds and investors lost nearly £600m as share prices fell in early trading ahead of the announcement of the energy bill relief package.

Shares of energy giants Centrica, Drax and SSE fell more than 2% in the first hours of trading.

Ben Wright warns Mr Sunak’s windfall tax will have unintended consequences as André Lilico believes that the Chancellor has taken an anti-conservative approach to inflation.

good thing to do

Many have accused the government of cynically announcing its bailout the day after Sue Gray reported on the partygate scandal.

Indeed, three other Tory MPs withdrew their support for the Prime Minister and called on him to resign following the publication of the report – and it emerged that former Labor caretaker leader Harriet Harman is set to become the chair of the committee who will decide whether Mr Johnson intentionally misled Parliament about the party gate.

Yet while today’s measures may not be able to escape the gravitational pull of partygate – and also Nick Labour’s flagship policy of a windfall tax on energy companies’ windfall profits – Tom Harris explains why stealing the idea can be cynical, but it’s also the right thing to do.

Ben Wilkinson says it’s time Mr. Sunak put some money back in our pockets.

Commentary and analysis

Around the World: Zelensky Says Kissinger Lives in 1938

Volodymyr Zelensky has crushed calls for Ukraine to cede part of its territory to Russia, likening it to the appeasement of Adolf Hitler on the eve of World War II. In his daily address to the nation on Wednesday night, Mr Zelensky pushed back against growing calls for Ukraine to seek peace with the Kremlin while resigning himself to letting Russia rule the territory it captured. It comes after Henry Kissinger, the veteran US statesman, told world leaders gathered in Davos that the West should push Ukraine to make concessions to Vladimir Putin, warning that humiliating Russia could have disastrous consequences for the long-term stability of Europe. However, Liz Truss has warned that Russian interference in the Western Balkans risks plunging the region back into war as she calls on the West not to appease Putin over his invasion.

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