Showing posts from September, 2022

Update on the plan for growth

 The Conservative plan for Growth focuses on boosting Britain's economic growth  In the face of Putin’s war in Ukraine and rising energy prices we need  a new approach focused exclusively on economic growth through supply side reforms and incentives for business. That is why the Conservatives have launched our Growth Plan for a new era in which Britain will focus on supply side reforms by liberating the private sector, boosting business opportunities, and slashing red-tape to increase investment, skilled employment, quality infrastructure, home ownership and enterprise across the UK. This will deliver the economic growth the UK needs – so we can afford  higher wages, better public services and greater opportunities for the British people without saddling families and businesses with tax rises. Worked examples of family benefits from the Growth Plan Over 30 million people will see tax cuts as a result of our changes to income tax and National Insurance. For example, someone earning

Quote of the day 30th September 2022

“The Charter is clear.  Any annexation of a State’s territory by another State resulting from the threat or use of force is a violation of the Principles of the UN Charter and international law.” “Any decision to proceed with the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine would have no legal value and deserves to be condemned,” UN Secretary-General  António Guterres , condemning the proposed Russian annexation of Ukrainian territory. The move “cannot be reconciled with the international legal framework" and “stands against everything the international community is meant to stand for,” he added.  “It flouts the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations.   It is a dangerous escalation.   It has no place in the modern world.   It must not be accepted.”  Mr. Guterres underlined the UN’s unequivocal commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.  

Britain's Medium Term Fiscal Plan

The government has announced plans to   set out a Medium-Term Fiscal Plan on 23 November   – fulfilling our commitment to cut taxes for people and businesses across the country and announcing further supply side policies. In the face of Putin’s war in Ukraine and rising energy prices we must adopt a new approach focused exclusively on economic growth – we will be bold and unashamed in this pursuit. That is why the government has announced that it will set out the Medium-Term Fiscal Plan on 23 November and announce further supply side growth measures in the coming weeks including on the planning system, business regulations, and immigration – and we have asked the OBR to set out a full forecast alongside the Fiscal Plan. Only the Conservatives can be trusted to deliver the economic growth the UK needs– delivering higher wages and greater opportunities for the British people, and more money for our public services without saddling families and businesses with tax rises.

Quote of the day 29th September 2022


Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee - October meeting

Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee will be meeting on Monday, 3rd October, 2022 at 10.30 am in the Council chamber at County Hall, Kendal. The meeting will be open to the public. The main items on the agenda are Lancashire and South Cumbria Pathology Service (To receive a presentation from Lancashire and South Cumbria Pathology Service) Lancashire and South Cumbria New Hospitals Programme Update  North Cumbria Integrated Care Digital Strategy - Where Are We Now? (To consider a report by North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (copy enclosed). The full agenda and supporting documents can be found by clicking on the following link: Agenda for Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee on Monday, 3rd October, 2022, 10.30 am | Cumbria County Council

Problems continue with Cumbria County Council email system

Cumbria County Council's email system continues to experience serious difficulties I gather that a fair number of councillors and officers have email service back but I was told yesterday that there were 900 people who are still having trouble with their ICT servicce. I am one of them - I am unable to see any emails sent to my CCC email address since last week. My County Council phone also appears to be affected. If you need to contact me by email use - or you can ring my home landline which is in the directory

Labour MP suspended for racist attack on Chancellor

The Labour party has suspended one of it's own MPs, Rupa Huq, for comments about the Chancellor of the Exchequer which Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer agreed were "racist." On hearing of the comments made by Rupa Huq about the chancellor at a fringe meeting at Labour conference, Conservative party chairman Jake Berry had written to the Labour leader, saying 'I trust you will join me in unequivocally condemning these comments as nothing less than racist and that the Labour whip will be withdrawn from Rupa Huq as a consequence.'  The Labour leader did indeed agree that , 'She shouldn't have said it. She will be dealt with and I'll be absolutely clear it was racist.'

Quote of the day 28th September 2022


A new Start-up loan scheme

The government has   announced the expansion of our Start Up Loan scheme, providing over 30,000 new loans for small businesses   – helping new businesses to thrive, growing the economy and raising living standards. To deliver on our mission of growing the economy to boost wages, fund our public services and create better jobs, we must support new businesses to thrive.  That is why we have expanded our Start Up Loans programme, making 33,000 more loans of up to £25,000 available to businesses that have been trading for up to three years, up from two years, with new ‘second loans’ available for businesses that have been trading for up to five years. This funding provides much-needed support for our entrepreneurs and business owners through this challenging period and unlocks businesses’ potential to play a vital role in growing our economy

A Plan for Growth

On 23 September 2022 the Chancellor set out The Growth Plan. For too long growth has not been as high as it needs to be, making it harder to pay for public services and requiring taxes to rise. That is why the Conservative government is adopting a new approach for a new era focused on economic growth. We will be bold and unashamed in this pursuit. We will expand the supply side through tax cuts and reform, tackle the immediate energy crisis, remove barriers for business, and build the infrastructure we need to grow the British economy. Only the Conservatives can be trusted to make the reforms we need to grow our economy – delivering higher wages, lower taxes and more money for our public services. ENERGY Cutting everyone’s energy bills by £1,400 this year protecting the British people and reducing inflation by 5ppts. Energy Bills were due to rise by £6,500 but through the Energy Price Guarantee we will limit the unit price that consumers pay for electricity and gas. For the next two ye

Quote of the day 25th September 2022

The Plan for Patients

Our Plan for Patients We know this winter will be tough for our NHS, but the Conservatives are taking action now so that patients can get the care they need.  That is why, this week, the Conservative government announced our Plan for Patients, prioritising ambulances, backlogs, care and doctors and dentists. We will improve patients’ access to GP practices, recruit additional support staff, give pharmacies powers to prescribe more medicines and introduce cloud-based telephone systems to GP practices. This is just the first step in our work to bolster our NHS and social care services, helping to cut Covid backlogs, deliver additional appointments and help patients can get the care they need. We are doing this by:  Changing funding rules to recruit extra support staff, freeing up over one million appointments per year. By changing the funding rules, GP practices will be able to recruit additional support staff, such as GP assistants and advanced nurse practitioners – allowing GPs to focu

County Council email system down

Cumbria County Council's email system appears to be down at the moment. I am unable to see any emails sent to my CCC email address over the past few days and I understand that other county councillors are having similar issues. My County Council phone also appears to be affected. If you need to contact me by email use - or you can ring my home landline which is in the directory

Music to start the weekend: Gustav Holst: "Turn back, O man"


Cumbria and Lancashire Joint Health Scrutiny meeting

The next meeting of the Cumbria and Lancashire Joint Health Scrutiny committee will be held in County Hall, Kendal on next Tuesday, 27th September 2022 at 11 am. The meeting will be open to the public. The main items on the agenda are  a Progress Report on the improvement plans for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay, following reports from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Niche and the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) Improvement Plans, and Winter Plans for the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust  The full agenda and supporting papers can be found on the Cumbria County Council website by following this link: Agenda for Cumbria and Lancashire Joint Health Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday, 27th September, 2022, 11.00 am | Cumbria County Council

Quote of the day 22nd October 2022

 "Putin is shouting at his own people, not us" David Aaronovitch, title of an article in today's Times newspaper arguing that the bizarre speeches from the Russian Federation president and his outriders are aimed at trying to justify an extremely unpopular call-up to his own people, not because he expects anyone in the West to believe a word he says.

Dan Hannan on why there is no such thing as "Trickle-down economics"

The centrepiece of the present government's economic strategy is a £150 billion package to freeze energy prices. If there was such a thing as a "trickle-down" view of economics this government would clearly not be following it.  Since Liz Truss's election we keep hearing from the Labour party that her government is following "Trickle down" economics: that is complete and utter nonsense.  In fact I do not accept that there is any such thing.  The idea of "Trickle down economics" originated, not from anyone who actually who believed in it, but from an American writer who was using it as a "straw man" to characterise and criticise the economic policies of the then US President Herbert Hoover. A similar straw man was subsequently used by US Democrats to attack the government of Ronald Reagan.  It has since crossed the Atlantic and been used by British lefties to attack Conservatives.  As Dan Hannan explains here, nobody actually believes in

Ben Wallace on Putin's latest threats


Quote of the day 21st September 2022

 "If it wasn't so tragic, we'd laugh." French President Emmanual Macron , referring to the announcement by Russian proxies in four occupied areas of Ukraine that they plan to stage plebiscites within three days - a period which would obviously be totally inadequate even if they were not in a war zones - on annexation by Russia. Macron quite rightly said that the international community will not accept any such referendum, or any Russian claim to annex Ukrainian territory on the basis of any such clearly illegitimate referendum.

Thomas Sowell on the second edition of Intellectuals and Society

Anyone who reads this blog cannot be unaware that I have a great deal of respect for the American economist Thomas Sowell.  This is a 2012 interview on "Uncommon knowledge" about his book "Intellectuals and society" which has aged quite well over the past ten years.  He points out that most of us have some issues we know a lot about, but highly educated people and intellectuals need to watch out for the trap of thinking that knowledge of one area translates into knowledge about everything - and thus making dogmatic statements about things we do not in fact understand as well as we think we do.  Includes the context for one of my favourite Thomas Sowell quotes - "There are no solutions, there are only trade-offs."

Graham Norton's entries for the "Most pathetic excuse of the year" competition

It's perfectly legitimate for a newspaper or magazine to mainly come at politics or culture from a particular perspective - everyone will know where that publication stands and nobody has to buy it.  Though it is worth qualifying that by adding that the best and most successful even of the most partisan of publications make a point of including a few columnists who take the opposite point of view. You will find the occasional centre-right article in the Guardian and the Independent, and more than occasional left-wing articles in the Telegraph or the Spectator. A national broadcaster funded by what amounts to a tax that everyone has to pay - like the BBC - is in a totally different position. It has a moral duty (and, as I understand it, a legal responsibility too) to ensure that every significant and legitimate viewpoint is represented and covered in its output. Much of the time the BBC can clearly be seen to be making an effort to represent all views. The classic example would be t

Dan Hodges on the next election

 As normal politics resumes today, here is a link to a piece written late last week about how the two main parties are trying to frame the debate at the next election. Dan Hodges wrote an article entitled " After Vladimir Putin's war and Covid, the next election will be won by anyone who offers us normality ." He argues "Politicians love proselytising about their radicalism. Keir Starmer secured the Labour leadership by posing as Jeremy Corbyn in a sharper suit. Liz Truss became Prime Minister by framing herself as the Iron Lizzie. But this morning both are waking to a new reality. Victory at the next General Election won't be secured by the candidate who seizes the mantle of change. It'll be won by whoever convinces voters the hurricane of change that has torn at them for the past five years will finally abate." You can read the full piece here.

Quote of the day 20th September 2022


Reflections on "The Queue"

So "The Queue" has finished: over the past few days many thousands of people, not just from every corner of the British Isles but some from far-flung corners of the globe, have travelled to London and waited in a queue for sometimes more than twelve hours to pay their respects by filing past the coffin of our late Queen. The people who did this came from every walk of life, from celebrities like David Beckham to cleaners, from councillors to chemists, from nurses to naval architects. They were people of every race and creed, and from all over the UK, and beyond. (I know of at least one member of staff at West Cumberland Hospital who went through "The Queue," and who will have spent at least twelve hours travelling to London and back on top of more than twelve hours in the queue itself.) One famous academic published a piece arguing that people had taken part in mourning her late majesty for a wide range of reasons - which is undoubtedly true - and from this reasonab

The Funeral today

At 11am today, the State Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen will take place at Westminster Abbey. Towards the end of the Service, at approximately 11:55am, the Last Post will sound followed by a national two minute’s silence.

Quotes of the day 19th September 2022

"The highest of distinctions is service to others." King George VI “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”  Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) on her 21st birthday.

Second quote of the day for Battle of Britain Sunday

This evening I attended a very moving service at St Bees Priory to commemorate and give thanks for the life of her late majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It was pointed out during the service that this is also Battle of Britain Sunday. So here is a quote to remind us of those from all around the world who fought in that battle and helped keep Britain, and the World, free.  

Know your Putin apologist

There are not many people in the West who are foolish enough to swallow Putin's propaganda and defend Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine. But all of those on social media or anywhere else whose views I have seen fall into one of the categories described in this humorous (but largely accurate) chart:

National moment of Reflection - a minute's silence for her late majesty starts now.


Sunday music spot: "Lord Let Me Know Mine End" by Maurice Greene (Peterborough Cathedral)


Quote of the day 18th September 2022


Reminder: national moment of reflection at 8pm tomorrow


Even complete berks deserve freedom of speech within the law.

There have been a number of ironies about the manner in which freedom of speech has been exercised and constrained in the days since the death of Her Majesty. It is only fair to admit that there is a real tension between the essential right of free speech which is central to any democracy, and the duty of the police to protect society against potential genuine threats to the peace. Some of the people who deny that "no platform" policies in Universities are a threat to free speech have gone all Voltaire and John Stuart Mill over the arrest of people who shouted obscenities or held up placards with them at national mourning events. I believe in free speech within the law - and that the law should always be both written and applied as generously as possible to freedom of expression. Some - and I repeat, some - of the people who have had their collars felt by the police in recent days, such as the gentleman who held up a blank piece of paper, appear to have been on the wrong end

Quote of the day 17th September 2022

"After the US, Russia is the main provider of vehicles to the Ukrainian Army." (Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to President Zelenskyy of Ukraine, speaking about the large numbers of vehicles left behind by fleeing Russian forces and captured by the Ukrainians during their successful operation to liberate the whole of the Kharkiv region.)

National Moment of Reflection planned for 8pm on Sunday


Report on this morning's meeting of the NHS West Cumbria Community Forum

I have been attending online this morning's meeting of the West Cumbria Community Forum. The forum has heard two presentations from Adrian Clements, the Trust's Medical director, who began by telling us that we might not like what he had to tell us but that he would tell us the truth. He kept his promise. The first presentation was on A&E at West Cumberland Hospital (WCH,) he then reported on cancer treatment in West Cumbria where he was open about the fact that current performance is, quote "unacceptable." In the past the local NHS has often been accused of wanting to asset strip hospital and health services in West Cumbria and move them to Carlisle or even further afield. Having heard the presentation from Adrian, I am very grateful that he clearly does not share that approach and wants to keep our local NHS services in West Cumbria open. If he did not have a commitment to our local NHS services, I think we might have already lost more key aspects of healthcare

Another perspective on the Bankers' bonus issue

Further to last night's post, this was an extract from a piece by John Mcternan: It's from a very interesting piece on Unherd called "Has Liz Truss trapped Labour?" which you can read in full here

Quote of the day 16th September 2022

"I am concerned about the stabbings of two Metropolitan Police Officers whilst on duty near Leicester Square and have spoken to the Commissioner about the situation.  Everyday, we are safer thanks to the the bravery of our policemen & women. I wish the Police Officers a swift recovery and my thoughts are with their family, friends and colleagues." Home secretary Suella Braverman today on Twitter

Quote of the day 23rd September 2022

 I must try to get hold of one of these mugs ...

The law of unintended consequences and the bankers bonus Cap

There have, not surprisingly, been howls of outrage at the suggestion that the cap on "Bankers's Bonuses" should be removed. The optics are absolutely terrible. At a time when many people are struggling, the idea of removing a cap of 200% of base salary on the amount which can be paid in Performance Related Pay, which will be presented as enabling Bankers, not the most popular group in the country, to be paid even more, is going to go down like the proverbial lead balloon. For that reason, it probably won't happen: the economic benefit from scrapping the law is likely to be much smaller than the political cost. This will probably therefore not be a popular opinion, but this cap has been completely ineffective and, falling foul of the law of unintended consequences, had exactly the opposite impact to what was intended. This rule is a complete nonsense which far from curbing the remuneration paid to bankers has probably increased it and landed the banks with a more expe

Quote of the day 15th September 2022

The Archbishop of Canterbury tweeted this quote from the bible today, and it seems particularly appropriate in a number of areas:

Quote of the day 14th September 2022


Unemployment drops

Unemployment in the UK has fallen to its lowest level since 1974, standing at 3.6% in the three months to July. The Office for National Statistics said the number of people in employment grew by 40,000 in the May-July period. One of the main drivers, if not the main driver, for the reduction in unemployment n appears to be that a substantial number of over-60's have decided to take early retirement. This will have major implications for the labour market and suggests we need to think even harder about how to improve productivity and about the manner in which people retire.

Quote of the day 13th Sept 2022


Latest news from Ukraine

The Ukrainian military claims it has forced Russian forces from more than 20 towns and villages in the past 24 hours, according to a Facebook post by the Ukraine general staff. Ukraine also claimed that Russian forces were fleeing deep into the occupied areas of the Donbas or back into Russia itself. The success of Ukrainian forces in pushing Russian troops out of the Kharkiv region “have significant implications for Russia’s overall operational design”, according to the UK Ministry of Defence, and for the morale of its soldiers on the ground. “The majority of the force in Ukraine is highly likely being forced to prioritise emergency defensive actions,” said the MoD in a Twitter post on Monday morning. “The already limited trust deployed troops have in Russia’s senior military leadership is likely to deteriorate further.” The UK Ministry of Defence added that Russia has probably ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the whole of the occupied Kharkiv oblast region west of the Oskil

HM the late Queen's message to New York after the Twin Towers attack

Her late majesty's words "Grief is the price we pay for love" have been extensively quoted since her death, including on this blog where they were one of my quotes of the day on Saturday. Those words are powerful even on their own with no other context, but it is perhaps worth quoting what that the full context in which they were originally written actually was. They were the concluding words of Her Majesty's message of condolences to the people of New York following the Twin Towers attacks on 9/11, twenty-one years ago on Friday.  

Quote of the day 12th September 2022: Meanwhile, in Ukraine ...

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, addressing Russia last night:

Sunday music spot: "Turn, Turn, Turn." sung by the Seekers


The Copeland proclamation of his Majesty

 King Charles III was proclaimed King yesterday at an "Accession Council" meeting of the Privy Council, and the proclamation has been being read around the country. Attended the proclamation in Copeland of King Charles III as monarch today, in St Nicholas' Gardens, read by the directly elected Mayor of Copeland in the presence of the MP. Royal British Legion, County, Borough and Town councillors, and the public.

Quote of the day 11th September 2022


Severe delays on the M6 Southbound near Lancaster today.

 I returned home a short while ago after attending a couple of meetings in various parts of the country yesterday and today. On my way back to Cumbria on the Northbound M6, I was concerned to see that on the other side of the road there was an enormous tailback on the M6 Southbound - it looked like traffic was hardly moving on a stretch from near the Lancaster Forton service station, to a point almost as far North as Burton-in Kendal. Earlier today National Highways said the following: "The #M6 remains closed southbound J33 and J32 for essential maintenance works. There are severe delays of at least 2 hours above normal journey times on approach to the closure. Road users are advised to allow extra time for journeys. More info - https://" /travel-alerts/ If you are planning to travel on the M6 Southbound in the near future and your route includes the stretch from Junctions 26 to 32, I would strongly advise you to check for advice about

Meanwhile in Ukraine ...


Cumbria Pensions Committee

Cumbria Pensions Committee will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday 13th and 14th September for a two-day workshop. Most of the meeting and much of the inch-thick agenda is not available to the public for very good reasons, but the list of the issues being discussed and the reports which are in the public domain can be found on the County Council website by clicking on the link below. I am glad that these include a review of cyber security, which is an issue I flagged when we discussed the risk register at our last meeting. Agenda for Cumbria Pensions Committee on Tuesday, 13th September, 2022, 1.30 pm | Cumbria County Council

Quotes of the day 10th September 2022

"Grief is the price we pay for love" (The words of Queen Elizabeth II after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which now seem particularly appropriate as a reference to the shock felt by almost everyone in Britain at her own passing.) "Better days will return: we will be with friends again, we will be with our families again: we will meet again." (From her inspirational address to the nation at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic)

O Tempora! O Mores!

Like many people I am still a bit in shock about the passing of Her Majesty: I understand it intellectually but part of me cannot really start to grieve because it cannot understand that a towering figure who has had such a central place in our country's life for my entire life has finally gone. I was at a social event this evening which included both the Loyal Toast and the singing of the national anthem for the first time I had experienced either since yesterday. And therefore the first time I or almost anyone else present had voiced them in the now appropriate form. which is different from the way we have all experienced them for the whole of my previous experience but which, barring quite extraordinary events, will be used for the rest of my life (and probably the rest of my children's lives.) One friend asked me if I had been practicing "God save our gracious King." I replied that I didn't think anyone would get it wrong tonight, but I would wager that just a

Political campaigning suspended

As a gesture of respect for Her Majesty the Conservative party, and I understand also all the other political parties, have suspended active political campaigning during the ten days of national mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II up to and including the day of her funeral.

September meeting of the County Council's Copeland local committee

Cumbria County Council's Local Committee for Copeland will meet on Monday, 12th September, 2022 starting at 10.15 am at Cleator Moor Civic Centre. The meeting will be open to the public. The main items on the agenda will be a presentation from Active Cumbria, a traffic and highways delivery programme update, and a report on Investing in our Communities. The full agenda with supporting documents and reports is available on the County Council website by clicking on the link below:  Agenda for County Council Local Committee for Copeland on Monday, 12th September, 2022, 10.15 am | Cumbria County Council

Quote of the day 9th September 2022: Liz Truss's tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

"Queen Elizabeth the Second was the rock on which modern Britain was built." "Britain is the great country it is today, because of her. "Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed. She was the very spirit of Great Britain." "It is a day of great loss, but Queen Elizabeth II leaves a great legacy." "We usher in a new era in the history of our great country, exactly as Her Majesty would have wished, by saying the words, 'God Save the King.' "

Expressions of condolence pour in from around the world on the Queen's death

U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTONIO GUTERRES "As the United Kingdom's longest-lived and longest-reigning Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II was widely admired for her grace, dignity, and dedication around the world. She was a reassuring presence throughout decades of sweeping change, including the decolonization of Africa and Asia and the evolution of the Commonwealth. "Queen Elizabeth II was a good friend of the United Nations, and visited our New York Headquarters twice, more than fifty years apart. She was deeply committed to many charitable and environmental causes and spoke movingly to delegates at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow. "I would like to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II for her unwavering, lifelong dedication to serving her people. The world will long remember her devotion and leadership." U.S. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AND JILL BIDEN "In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Bri

Purcell's March from the Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary


The Queen is dead - Long live the King.

Buckingham Palace confirms that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died today at the age of 96. A statement from Buckingham Palace said,  “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow”. We have lost the most dedicated servant our country has ever had. Rest in Peace,

Quote of the day 8th September 2022

“Earlier this week I promised I would deal with the soaring energy prices faced by families and businesses across the UK,”  “And today I am delivering on that promise.” “This government is moving immediately to introduce a new energy price guarantee that will give people certainty on energy bills, it will curb inflation and boost growth. “This guarantee, which includes a temporary suspension of green levies, means that from 1 October a typical household will pay no more than £2,500 per year for each of the next two years while we get the energy market back on track. “This will save a typical household £1,000 a year. It comes in addition to the £400 energy bills support scheme. This guarantee supersedes the Ofgem price cap and has been agreed with energy retailers.” “I’m acting immediately so people and businesses are supported over the next two years, with a new energy price guarantee, and tackling the root cause of issues by boosting domestic energy supply.” (Extracts from the stateme

Liz Truss freezes energy prices for two years

Unusual times call for unusual measures. Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine has set the world price of gas to ridiculous levels: if no action were taken this would impose considerable economic suffering on most people and completely unacceptable suffering to the most vulnerable member of society. Hence it would be necessary for any government to act, to think outside the box, and to be willing to embrace measures that they would not normally consider. That is the context for the £150 billion package that the Prime Minister has announced today. This morning Liz Truss set out plans to help with the cost of energy bills and increase our energy security, delivering immediate support for people ahead of this winter. Covid and Putin’s war in Ukraine have caused immense challenges for our country, with energy prices rising and families facing significant cost of living pressures. That is why we will today announce immediate action to help people with the cost of their bills – giving peop