February 3, 2023

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Oliver Dowden, the former Conservative Party co-chair, has called for “substantial intervention” to combat the UK’s rising energy bills. By January, households could be taxed with annual costs in excess of £4,200 – another £500 on top of the latest estimate.

The chorus of voices urging politicians to step up their efforts increased this morning when former Prime Minister Gordon Brown told LBC that the two leading candidates should agree a household package with Boris Johnson this week. “It’s not good enough to act in September. These problems amount to a national emergency,” he said. The CBI, Britain’s largest corporate lobby group, has also called on Johnson to intervene now.

This puts significant pressure on Liz Truss, the frontrunner of the Tory leadership, who told the Financial Times last week she would “look at what more can be done” but “conservatively reduce the tax burden.” lower and not hand out handouts”.

The foreign minister has promised to cut the rise in National Insurance, which her rival Rishi Sunak introduced when he was chancellor, if she becomes prime minister.

Both leadership candidates will continue to face pressure over how they plan to tackle the cost of living crisis as more signs emerge of the financial pressures Britons are experiencing.

In times like these, people with bad credit often turn to community lenders, who can help them with small loans. But now these nonprofits are struggling to keep up with demand, and the owner of one provider has said he had to turn down 90 percent of applicants. Meanwhile, the number of households vulnerable to loan sharks or illegal moneylenders has risen from 310,000 in 2010 to 1.08 million in 2022, the government said. Illegal money lending team.

But the pawn shop industry is experiencing a renaissance as low-money households seek small loans on their jewelry and watches to help cover their bills.

The charitable and voluntary sector has become an integral part of the country’s social safety net, public policy editor Peter Foster reports, but his efforts to fill the gaps are hampered by dwindling resources as donations slow down.

The biggest cause of despair is rising energy bills. Energy regulator Ofgem said last week it would now change its price cap every three months, rather than twice a year, to give consumers the chance to enjoy lower bills when wholesale prices fall. However, in the current climate, the only likely step is up. Support for a campaign of default is growing.

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People with mortgages face further pressure after the Bank of England raises interest rates by the largest amount in 27 years. The BoE also raised its forecast for inflation, which is now projected to hit 13 percent by the end of the year.

While economists debate what type of fiscal or monetary policy can best help against an impending recession, Duncan Weldon, the author of a new book on the British economy, says that choosing the right mix is ​​”a lot like picking the right one.” least wrinkled shirt in the laundry basket: the best option is not necessarily a good one.” He concludes:

The country is poorer than it thought. In the short term, that is inevitable. The real policy debate is about how that pain is distributed between households, businesses and the balance sheet of government — not how it is avoided.

Latest news

  • BioNTech and Pfizer Start Clinical Trials of Vaccines Adapted to New Covid Variants

  • A number of multibillion-dollar acquisitions that boosted dealmaking in the US were confirmed today: Pfizer agreed to buy drug maker Global Blood Therapeutics for approximately $5 billion; US home appliance maker Whirlpool agreed to pay $3 billion for Emerson Electric’s food waste disposal company Insinkerator; Avalara agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners in a deal that values ​​the cloud-based tax specialist at $8.4 billion, including debt; Digital media company Axios has agreed to sell to Cox Enterprises for $525 million

  • Mayors of Greater Manchester and West Midlands seek empowerment over vocational skills in the regions to tackle rising inequality among adults in England

For current news updates, visit our live blog

Need to know: the economy

The US Senate has passed Joe Bidenthe flagship of the Tax and Expenditure Act, known as the Inflation Reduction Act. It includes key climate change legislation, as well as measures to lower prescription drug prices, and is seen as a major victory for the president ahead of November’s midterm elections.

Western capitals are increasingly concerned that Turkey Russia could help avoid sanctions after the two countries’ leaders pledge to expand trade and energy cooperation.

Latest for UK and Europe

British government plans to 91,000 . to economize civil servant jobs will mean spending cuts on public services and at least $1 billion in severance payments, according to an assessment by former chief of staff Boris Johnson.

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Italians speculate whether Moscow’s hand hangs over prime minister’s ouster last month Mario Draghi. Some believe that President Vladimir Putin exacted revenge for Draghi’s tough stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ireland benefits from a €8 billion corporate tax windfall following massive pandemic-enhanced revenues from technology and pharmaceutical companies. The country’s tax revenues have soared since 2015, with employment and foreign investment at record highs as well.

The European Central Bank is pumping billions of euros into the eurozone’s weaker debt markets to protect them from the fallout from its decision to call off stimulus programs as it battles to contain inflation.

Worldwide last

Tensions are still high in the neighbourhood Taiwan while China expanded its “real war conditions” military exercise. Beijing has also stepped up its propaganda offensive against Taipei. Foreign affairs chief Gideon Rachman warns that the idea of ​​armed conflict over Taiwan is gaining ground in Beijing and Washington.

US banks are busy repositioning themselves to emphasize their fossil fuel credentials to appease Republican politicians who criticize their commitment to the environment and social justice.

Great USA oil and gas producers, meanwhile, remain unmoved by politicians’ calls to increase supply. Executives say they are under pressure from Wall Street to return windfall gains from rising prices to investors through dividends and share buybacks, rather than spending a lot of money to boost production.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is counting on recent improvements in the economy to increase his chances of reelection in October. A strong recovery in the services sector and a drop in unemployment mean the economy is expected to grow by 1.7 percent this year, a big improvement from January, when banks forecast a recession.

Need to know: business

China’s Baidu provides the world’s first commercial human-free robot taxi service in the cities of Chongqing and Wuhan. Baidu is best known as an internet search engine, but robotaxis, along with cloud computing, is now seen as the driver of long-term growth.

Baidu's Apollo Go Autonomous Taxi Service

A demonstration of Baidu’s Apollo Go autonomous taxi service in Beijing, China © Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Chinese investors are also piling up on a more traditional asset: jade. The semi-precious stone was scarce for several reasons, including a coup in Myanmar, which produces 70-90 percent of the world’s supply of jadeite, the rarer of two distinctive stones known collectively as jade.

Something else that is scarce is: lithium, an important raw material for electric car batteries. Automakers are rushing to invest in projects to secure new resources, but a top producer says the market will remain tight until 2030.

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Great technologyAlready battling a range of financial problems, are now facing a triple wave of changes that could affect their business models, writes columnist Rana Foroohar: new EU rules, US listing requirements and internet fragmentation.

However, it is easy sailing for the offshore shipping industry, which has benefited from the sharp rise in oil and gas prices. Clarksons, the world’s largest ship broker, says index-tracking rates paid to leased rigs, submarines and offshore supply vessels are at the highest level in seven years.

Warren BuffettBerkshire Hathaway’s new investment slowed sharply in the second quarter as the sell-off in the US stock market drove the conglomerate to a loss of $43.8 billion. Investors sell shares in buyout funds in record time.

The pandemic fueled a turbocharged demand for industrial warehouse space but, as our Big Read details, this is now rapidly cooling as signs grow that the e-commerce boom is slowing, the global economy is faltering and locals are pushing back against setting up huge eyesores.

Tensions rise between Royal Mail and his employees about plans for his loss-making British postal company.

The world of work

City Centers are experiencing a moment of radical change as brick and mortar stores are replaced by online stores and offices remain half empty as employees work from home. FT architecture critic Edwin Heathcote says planners should seize the opportunity to reshape our urban areas for the new world of work.

To do young workers do you have an image problem? With business returning to normal, columnist Pilita Clark says some executives are getting tired of giving in to the whims of their younger employees, whom they see as indifferent, indifferent, and even misguided.

Covid cases and vaccinations

Total number of worldwide cases: 585mn

Total Doses Administered: 12.4 billion euros

Get the latest global photo with our vaccine tracker

What good news . . .

North and center coral cover Great Barrier Reef is on his highest since the start of monitoring 36 years ago. Paul Hardisty, chief executive of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, said the results in the northern and central regions were a sign that the reef could still recover, although other areas showed it was still vulnerable to disturbance.

Ranger inspects coral on Great Barrier Reef
A ranger inspects the coral condition on the Great Barrier Reef © David Gray/Reuters

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