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The Prime Minister has defended imposing green levies on energy bills

   News / 22 Apr 2022

Published: 22 April 2022
Location: London, UK

By Suzanne Evans, Director, Political Insight

The Prime Minister has defended imposing green levies on energy bills, after Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng failed to dismiss reports the Government is considering scrapping the charges. There is “a lot of prejudice” against the sustainable agenda, Boris Johnson said when he was asked if he was “uncomfortable” about imposing the charges in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, adding that “green technology, green sustainable electricity can help to reduce bills”. “Overall, if you look at what we have done with renewables, it has helped to reduce bills over the last few years and will continue to do so,” he said. “That’s why one of the things I want to do is use this moment to have, to really drive towards more offshore wind turbines...This country used to be number one for offshore wind… then China overtook us. We need to regain our lead, we need to build them faster and we can do it.” He also repeatedly resisted ruling out extra measures to support families with soaring living costs before the autumn, when the energy price cap is expected to rise again, the Telegraph said.
UK retail sales fell by 1.4% in March as the rising cost of living hit consumer spending, with online sales hit particularly hard as people tightened their belts, the Office for National Statistics says. Fuel sales also fell as people cut non-essential travel amid record petrol and diesel prices. However, overall retail sales were still 2.2% above pre-Covid levels, the BBC reports.

A survey of 2,000 motorists conducted by Confused.com and insurance company Willis Towers Watson has found that insuring a vehicle is now £12 more expensive than it was a year ago. Two in five (42%) of those who received their renewal in the past quarter saw their price increase year-on-year, rising by £39 on average. 2 in 5 home insurance customers have also seen a price increase, with policies rising by £3 on average. “Car insurance costs are starting to increase, and this is mostly down to the fact that we’re driving a lot more now than we were 12 months ago, and this means the number of claims insurers are paying out on is likely to have increased too,” said Confused’s chief executive Louise O’Shea.

The Evening Standard claims banks are angry that the Bank of England(BoE) is asking City firms for a 9% rise in fees so it can hire 100 new staff to pay to investigate new “policy responsibilities” and risks such as cryptocurrencies. City bosses are already privately complaining that the BoE and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) takes up far too much of their time seeking surveys on huge numbers of issues, many to do with pay and minority employment levels, the newspaper said, quoting David Buik of Aquis Exchange: “Crypto-currency, Blockchain and Bitcoin acolytes have begged the BoE and the FCA to play a leading role in regulating these new instruments, which have grown in popularity like wildfire. The authorities have taken their time to assume full responsibility and frankly it is a little rich to ask the market to pick up the inflationary tab. Frankly, why should it?”
Santander is cutting the opening hours of hundreds of branches, claiming the move is a response to changing customer habits. The bank said all but four of its branches would now shut at 3pm on weekdays instead of the current 4.30pm, while more than two-thirds would close at 12.30pm instead of 4pm on Saturdays. Pre-booked face-to-face appointments will be available outside the new hours in certain cases. The changes take effect on 18 July.
Accounting firm Deloitte has been fined £1.45m by Britain's accounting watchdog after failures in its audit of outsourcer Mitie Group. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) also handed a £40,056 fine to John Charlton, who worked on the audit for Deloitte, Sharecast News reports. The fine comes as Deloitte faces further scrutiny over the quality of its accounting, with the FRC confirming last week that it is investigating the firm over its audits of rail and bus operator Go-Ahead.
The billionaire Issa brothers are planning to open more Leon cafés and Cooplands bakeries on Asda sites and petrol stations, creating 22,700 jobs. The Blackburn-based entrepreneurs will also accelerate openings for brands such as KFC and Starbucks on hundreds of forecourts and Asda car parks.
The Co-op supermarket is dropping use-by dates on its own-brand yoghurt in a bid to reduce food waste, replacing labels on packets and containers with a best before date as guidance instead. Six million people in the UK eat a yoghurt daily, the Co-op said.
Sheffield Forgemasters has acquired the UK’s largest forging press as part of a £400m investment programme. Set to be housed in a new facility at the historic manufacturer’s Yorkshire site, the 8,000-tonne press has been shipped from Japan to King George Dock in Hull.
Knauf Insulation is making a £40 million plus investment in its two UK Glass Mineral Wool plants in St Helens on Merseyside to boost capacity as well as improve the range, availability and sustainability of its products. The company has also agreed a deal in principle to acquire the adjacent Pilkington Architectural site from NSG Group for a multi-million-pound sum. The site covers around 7 hectares in total and includes industrial buildings with a total floor space of more than 180,000 sq ft.
Sir Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams are committing millions of pounds to one of the bids vying to become the new owners of Chelsea Football Club. Sky News exclusively reveals the full line-up of investors backing the takeover offer for Chelsea spearheaded by Sir Martin Broughton, the former Liverpool FC and British Airways chairman - the most prominent of whom are the seven-times Formula One world champion and the former women's world tennis number one. Sources close to the group said that Lewis and Williams - the highest-profile members of any of the three remaining consortia - had pledged millions of pounds, although a spokesman for the F1 driver said the suggestion that he would invest £10m was "not accurate". The consortium is uniquely British-led among the trio of shortlisted bidders and features another UK sporting icon in the form of Lord Coe among its backers, Sky says.
The EU is asking its citizens to drive less, turn down air conditioning and work from home three days a week, to reduce reliance on Russian energy, the BBCreports. The measures, drawn up with the International Energy Agency, would save a typical household €450 (£375) a year, it is claimed.
Exxon Mobil Corp is considering a complete withdrawal from Russia by June 24, two sources familiar with plans told Reuters, following the U.S. oil major's earlier decision to exit all operations in the country.
CNN is closing the streaming service it launched just a month ago, and will issue refunds to subscribers when it shuts down on 30 April. The head of CNN+has resigned and hundreds more workers could be at risk of losing their jobs, the BBC says. The company spent as much as $300m on developing the service but it got off to a slow start, attracting just 10,000 viewers a day, according to reports.
Elon Musk has lined up $46.5 billion in financing for a possible hostile takeover of Twitter and is "exploring" a direct tender offer to shareholders, according to a securities filing released Thursday. Musk's filing pointed to a $13 billion debt facility from a financing consortium led by Morgan Stanley, a separate $12.5 billion margin loan from the same bank, as well as $21 billion from Musk's personal fortune, AFP reports. The Tesla chief, who has been rebuffed by the Twitter board, is "exploring whether to commence a tender offer... but has not determined whether to do so at this time," the filing said.

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