News Round-Up

Jun 19: Inflation due to fall to 2%; Labour would slash energy bills; Audi reveals new e-tron GT

Here are the headlines on Wednesday, June 19

Time 6:53 am, June 19, 2024

Reeves seeks to slash energy bills as Sunak wages ‘moral mission’ to cut taxes

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves will outline how Labour’s energy policies will aim to save £300 for families, while prime minister Rishi Sunak embarks on his ‘moral mission’ to cut taxes, as campaigning continues in the General Election.

She will reiterate Labour’s pledge to make Britain a clean energy superpower by 2030, which the party says will save families up to £300 per year off their energy bills, boost the UK’s energy independence, and create 650,000 good jobs.

Sunak will continue his tax war on Labour as he claims inflation is ‘back under control’ and it is his ‘moral mission’ to slash taxes.


Inflation set to return to 2% target for first time in almost three years

Inflation is expected to have fallen back to the 2% target for the first time in nearly three years in official figures on Wednesday that come just a day before the next rates decision and at a crucial time for the Conservatives ahead of the polls.

Most analysts are forecasting official figures will show the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) dropping to 2% in May, down from 2.3% in April.

It would mark the first time inflation has been at the Bank of England’s target since July 2021, before the cost-of-living crisis saw inflation shoot up – at one stage hitting levels not seen for 40 years.


Liberal Democrats pledge £1bn a year to tackle ‘crumbling’ hospitals

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to spend £1bn a year on repairing ‘crumbling’ NHS hospitals if they come to power after the General Election.

The party claimed millions of people would be treated in the hospitals most affected by dangerous reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) by 2030 and accused the Conservatives of failing to act on the threat.

Lib Dem deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: ‘The Conservatives have let our NHS crumble. They have failed to protect millions of patients and NHS staff who are forced to treat people in dangerous buildings.’

Tories facing worst result ever as Labour eye post-war record majority – poll

Labour is on course to win more than 450 seats and the biggest majority of any post-war government, according to a poll of almost 20,000 people.

The poll by Ipsos, published on Tuesday, estimated Labour would win 43% of the vote and secure 453 seats, giving it a majority of 256 and reducing the Conservatives to just 115 seats.

That would be the Tories’ worst result ever, exceeding the previous record of 156 seats in 1906, and mean senior figures such as Grant Shapps, Penny Mordaunt, Gillian Keegan, Johnny Mercer and Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg losing their seats. Ipsos estimates a lower range of just 99 seats for the party that won a commanding 80-seat majority five years ago.

Hunt laments ‘failure to appreciate’ Tories’ ‘superb record’ in government

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has complained of a ‘total failure to appreciate’ the Tories’ ‘superb record’ of 14 years in government.

In an audio recording from an event in April, the chancellor also states that if his party loses the General Election it will be because the public ‘do not want to vote for a divided party’ and ‘it will be our own stupid fault’.

Hunt is one of a number of Tory cabinet ministers who is at risk of losing their seat on July 4, as he has admitted his political future will be decided by ‘1,500 votes or fewer’.


Barton apology and damages ‘not final outcome’ of libel case, says Jeremy Vine

Jeremy Vine has said that Joey Barton agreeing to pay £75,000 in damages in their High Court libel claim ‘is not the final outcome’ of the case.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Tuesday, Barton said the allegations he made against Vine, including calling him a ‘bike nonce’, were ‘untrue’.

The former footballer apologised and said he would pay the five-figure sum in damages, as well as Vine’s legal costs.

Rail season tickets at record low due to home working

The percentage of train journeys made using season tickets has fallen to a record low, according to new figures.

Office of Rail and Road (ORR) data shows the tickets accounted for just 13% of the 1.6 billion journeys taken on Britain’s railways in the year to the end of March.

That is down from 15% during the previous 12 months, and is the lowest percentage in records dating back to 1987.

Tuesday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

McDonald’s to end AI trial in US over ordering mishaps

McDonald’s is removing AI-powered ordering tools from its drive-thru restaurants in the US after customers shared experiences of the technology going wrong online.

The system, developed by IBM, uses voice recognition to process orders and had been used at more than 100 McDonald’s restaurants since first being introduced as part of a test in 2021.

But its reliability had come into question after a number of videos and posts appeared online detailing ordering mishaps such as bacon being added to ice cream and hundreds of dollars worth of chicken nuggets being added to an order.

Audi unveils the all-new e-tron GT

Audi has lifted the lid on its updated e-tron model, which sports new exterior styling, an increased battery capacity, a reduction in overall weight and introduces a range-topping Performance model with 912bhp.

Battery useable output rises from 84kWh to 97kWh, with maximum charging speeds rising from 270kW to a peak of 320kW from appropriate fast-charging outlets.

The entire model line-up has been tweaked to reflect the changes made, with the ‘entry-level’ dual-motor model now badged Audi S e-tron GT, which boasts 671bhp from the powerful all-electric set-up. The RS e-tron GT sees power output rise to 845bhp, while the RS Performance model tops the range with 912bhp – this figure makes it the most powerful production road car ever made.

Weather

Sunny spells and patchy cloud for most today, reports BBC Weather. The west may see the odd shower, however, and cloud will push into north-west Scotland this evening. Highs of 22 degrees in southern England.

Rain in the far north will clear to the east, leaving a clear and dry night for all.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.



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