Business Secretary vows to keep energy price cap in place this winter
Instant bill increases for millions of customers will be held back by maintaining the energy price cap, the Business Secretary has vowed as he resists a hike to help firms.
Kwasi Kwarteng said that keeping the cap in place this winter is ‘non-negotiable’ after some firms lobbied for an increase to prevent collapses due to the energy crisis.
But he did not set out any additional support for struggling businesses after bosses and some Tory MPs called for help to prevent them going under as wholesale prices soar.
‘Skills bootcamps’ expanded to train HGV drivers to ease supply-chain crisis
Ministers will expand a fast-track scheme to allow up to 5,000 people to be trained as HGV drivers to alleviate the supply chain crisis.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday that 2,000 additional places would be opened up through ‘skills bootcamps’ to boost the number of lorry drivers.
But the free courses lasting up to 16 weeks will not start until next month, meaning they will do nothing to alleviate concerns about shortages this Christmas.
Two million across England have had third Covid-19 jab
People eligible for a coronavirus booster jab are being urged to take up the offer, as officials said more than two million have been given in England so far.
Booster jabs are being given at least six months after a second dose.
NHS England said on Saturday that three weeks after the booster programme began, a total of 2.08 million top-ups have been administered.
Ex-chancellor issues inflation warning and calls for interest rates hike
A Conservative former chancellor has added his voice to those warning about the risks surrounding inflation as he called for an increase in interest rates to tackle the issue.
Lord Lamont also said on Saturday that the government’s policy of calling for wages to go up could further drive inflation if the boost is not accompanied by increased productivity.
Amid soaring energy prices and shortages of workers and materials, pressures from rising prices are increasing as the pace of the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic slows.
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Rising energy costs should be tackled by government ‘right now’- industry leader
Rising energy costs should be tackled by the government ‘right now’ amid fears over a difficult winter, an industry leader has said.
The Energy Intensive Users Group chair Dr Richard Leese said he put forward three ‘technical’ proposals to the government to avoid interruption to supply chains.
It comes after he attended a meeting with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and other representatives of energy intensive industries to discuss the wholesale gas crisis on Friday afternoon.
Scotland demands action from UK Government over carbon dioxide supply concerns
Scotland’s rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon has called for an urgent meeting with the UK Government amid concerns of a shortage of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Ms Gougeon said a short-term deal with carbon dioxide manufacturer CF Fertilisers is drawing to a close with no future plan in place.
The MSP for Angus North and Mearns said there is concern over the impact of CO2 shortages on the country’s food and drink sector.
French minister calls on UK to fulfil promises over migrant crossings cash
None of the £54m the UK promised to France to tackle migrant crossings has been paid, a French minister has claimed as he urged the British Government to fulfil its promises.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said ‘not one euro has been paid’ following a visit to Dunkirk on Saturday.
Earlier this year, the Government pledged to send millions of pounds to support French efforts to stop the crossings.
Pigs killed as fire breaks out at farm
A number of pigs are understood to have died after a large fire broke out at a farm.
Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said five fire trucks and two water carriers were sent to battle the blaze near Wallingford, just off Portway, after being contacted at 4.23pm.
‘The fire is in an agricultural unit, where a number of pigs are known to have sadly have been involved,’ the service added in its statement on Facebook.
Cloud and rain expecting over coming days
Today will see blustery showers in far north and west of Scotland. The south-east will be largely cloudy with the chance of some drizzle this morning. It will be dry with sunny spells elsewhere, says the BBC.
Tonight, will see showers diminish in the far northwest, but rain redevelops by dawn. Clouds increase for the rest of Scotland and Northern Ireland. England and Wales will be dry with variable cloud.
Tomorrow will see spells of rain spread east across Scotland. Dry and cloudy for N Ireland and northern England. Dry with a mix of sunny spells and patchy cloud for the rest of England and Wales.