Watch live as Boris Johnson faces PMQs ahead of Rishi Sunak’s mini-budget statement
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is under increasing pressure to use today’s mini-budget to give people a helping hand with their economy while inflation reaches its highest level in 30 years.
Inflation in the consumer price index rose to 6.2 percent in February from 5.5 percent in January, the ONS said Wednesday morning.
The government has insisted they will not change the planned increase in national insurance contributions, but the chancellor could reportedly cut the fuel tax to help drivers.
Meanwhile, voters overwhelmingly support an unexpected tax on oil and gas companies in the North Sea to support families with rising energy bills, a new poll for The independent have found.
A Savanta ComRes study on The independent has found that the majority of voters – also among conservative voters – support scrapping next month’s 1.25 percentage point increase in social security contributions.
A majority also supports a reduction in the fuel tax and the introduction of a minimum wage of £ 10 per hour. Families are facing further pressure on their finances next month, with the average increase of £ 700 in annual household gas and electricity bills coming into force.
The household support fund doubles to £ 1 billion
Vulnerable households will receive targeted support with Rishi Sunak announcing a doubling of the household support fund to £ 1bn.
Holly BancroftMarch 23, 2022 12:56 PM
VAT scrapped for green energy for homeowners
The Chancellor has announced that homeowners who install heat pumps, insulation and solar panels will have to pay zero VAT. However, this does not apply in Northern Ireland.
Holly BancroftMarch 23, 2022 12:53 PM
Fuel consumption reduced by 5p – Sunak
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a 5p reduction in fuel tax until March 2023, saying it represents the “largest reduction in fuel tax rates ever”.
Holly BancroftMarch 23, 2022 12:51 PM
The OBR expects inflation to rise further
Sanctions against Russia “are not free for us at home”, Rishi Sunak has admitted. “OBR has specifically said that there is an unusually high level of uncertainty about the outlook. Their initial view means that OBR now forecasts growth of 3.8% this year”
The Office of Budgetary Responsibility expects inflation to rise further to an average of 7.4% this year.
Holly BancroftMarch 23, 2022 12:50 PM
Rishi Sunak is up
Rishi Sunak has opened his spring statement by talking about the war in Ukraine. He said: “What they call the inherent weakness of open societies and free economies, we know, is our strength.
“We want to strengthen our economy here at home. When I talk about security, I mean responding to the war in Ukraine, but I also mean security in a more resilient economy.
“Today’s declaration delivers a stronger and more secure economy for the United Kingdom.”
Holly BancroftMarch 23, 2022 12:47 PM
The Resolution Foundation anticipates larger announcements than expected in the Spring Statement
Torsten Bell, from the think tank Resolution Foundation, has suggested that Rishi Sunak’s spring statement may contain more announcements than people expect.
Bell wrote on Twitter, saying: “We will get bigger political announcements than people expect at 12:30 – fuel tax cuts and increase in national insurance threshold is security.
“The question is whether they are combined with something aimed at those who will be hardest hit by the rise in the cost of living.”
Holly BancroftMarch 23, 2022 12:38 PM
Spring declaration on the way
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will begin his spring declaration in the next few moments.
Sir. Sunak is expected to use his speech to address the rising cost of living crisis in the UK.
Here is what he could announce in his speech:
Holly BancroftMarch 23, 2022 12:32 PM
Starmer accuses Boris Johnson of ‘half-a-****, blowing waffle’
Sir Keir Starmer asked Boris Johnson how P&O staff “are expected to take a bit of comfort from [the PM’s] a half ****, blaring waffle today ”.
He criticized Johnson for ordering his MPs to abstain in a vote banning firing and re-employment on Monday. He said the government had “advanced warning” about P & O’s mass firings and accused them of “not lifting a finger to stop it.”
Holly BancroftMarch 23, 2022 12:22 PM
Boris Johnson says P&O broke the law and that the government ‘will take them to court’ despite the Grayling exemption
In connection with the Prime Minister’s question, Boris Johnson has said that it appeared that P&O Ferries had “broken the law” by firing 800 workers without notice – and promised that the government would “bring them to justice”.
“It seems to me that the company has broken the law and therefore we will act and we will encourage workers to act,” the Prime Minister told the Commons at PMQs.
Johnson said the company in question had a duty to notify the government of the layoffs “45 days before they intervene of that sort.”
Adam ForrestMarch 23, 2022 12:16 PM
Rishi Sunak had admitted that the financial outlook is ‘challenging’ due to rising inflation
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has told the cabinet that the economic outlook is “challenging” due to rising inflation and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Downing Street has said.
Mr. Sunak delivered the update prior to his spring statement at. 12.3 today.
A 10th statement on Mr Sunak’s briefing said: “The Chancellor provided an update on the economic and fiscal picture and described the outlook as challenging given the global shocks we are facing as a result of the conflict in Ukraine and rising inflation.
“He said that throughout the pandemic, the government has shown the British people that we are on their side and we will continue to stand by them through the insecurity we now face.
“He described how the sound management of public finances enabled the government to step in and help people with £ 9 billion in support of their energy bills in February.
“He said this government will continue to take a responsible and sustainable approach to be able to grow a stronger and more secure economy for the future.”
Holly BancroftMarch 23, 2022 12:14 PM