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News Round-Up

Nov 19: £1,000 for homes near to pylons; Police trial drones; Energy prices rise again; Scotch sells for £2.2m

  • Here are the headlines for Sunday, November 19

Time 6:34 am, November 19, 2023

Homes close to new pylons to be offered £1,000 off bills a year

Households closest to new pylons and electricity substations could receive up to £10,000 off their bills over a decade under plans being announced by Jeremy Hunt.

The Chancellor will detail the bid to reduce the delays to projects because of planning objections in his autumn statement on Wednesday.

The move will come alongside plans to halve the time it takes to deliver new electricity networks to seven years, and a prioritisation of the rollout of electric vehicle charging points.

Officials argued the reforms are part of plans to boost economic growth and to help the UK hit net zero, after prime minister Rishi Sunak faced criticism for watering down climate plans.

Police trial drones emergency first responders

Cutting-edge plans to use drones as first responders to police emergencies will be trialled in Norfolk next year.

If testing is successful, the devices would be stationed on buildings and operated remotely to be sent first to scenes to give police early information.

Initial trials, under a scheme dubbed Project Eagle X, will take place in Norfolk, which has limited access to the helicopters flown by the National Police Air Service because they are stationed so far away.

Further tests will also take place in Thames Valley Police and Hampshire.

Energy price rise expected in January

Households are set to learn that their energy bills will rise again from January as hopes for relief from the cost-of-living crisis are put on hold.

Ofgem will announce its latest price cap on Thursday, with energy consultancy Cornwall Insight predicting it will increase from the current £1,834 for a typical dual fuel household to £1,931 – a 5% jump to take effect from January to March.

The forecasts suggest that the typical bill will then fall to £1,853 from the start of April, but will not drop below today’s level until July next year.

Hunt prepares to cut benefits but slash inheritance tax

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt argued that he needs to take ‘difficult decisions’ as he considers squeezing welfare payments by billions while slashing inheritance tax in a bid to appeal to more traditional Tory voters.

But reports emerged that prime minister Rishi Sunak and his Chancellor were weighing up cuts to income tax or national insurance at the 11th hour, as they were warned by northern Conservatives that Wednesday’s autumn statement should focus instead on lower-paid workers and businesses.

Mr Hunt has hinted he could unveil tax cuts as he promised an ‘autumn statement for growth’ and said now is a ‘turning point for the economy’ after inflation was halved.

Macallan scotch whisky sells for record £2.2m

A bottle of Scotch whisky billed as ‘the most sought-after’ in the world has sold for almost £2.2m, an auction record for a bottle of wine or spirits.

The Macallan Adami 1926 sold at Sotheby’s in London after a bidding war between would-be buyers on the phone and in the room.

Just 40 bottles of The Macallan 1926 were bottled in 1986 after being aged in sherry casks for 60 years.

Twelve of the bottles, including the one sold on Saturday, had labels designed by Italian painter Valerio Adami.

Explosion ends second SpaceX test flight

SpaceX launched its mega rocket Starship but lost both the booster and the spacecraft in two explosions minutes into Saturday’s test flight.

The rocketship reached space following lift-off from south Texas before communication was suddenly lost.

SpaceX officials said it appears the ship’s self-destruct system blew it up over the Gulf of Mexico.

Minutes earlier, the separated booster had exploded over the gulf and by then it was job done.

Showers and brisk wind

It’ll be another cloudy day, according to the Met Office, with outbreaks of showers that could become heavy at times.

There will be some brighter moments mainly in the far north and south.

Coastal areas and Wales will face another day of gales and tonight there will be further showers with some longer spells of rain.

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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