Amid projections of higher inflation and a recession that could last more than a year, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has made one thing clear: whoever wins the Conservative leadership election will have to give more support to families.
And, as Paul Johnson, director of the respected think-tank, points out, this package may not be small. Energy prices are likely to be much higher than we thought a few months ago as dual fuel bills approach £4,000 next year.
At the same time, inflation means that the government will face enormous pressure to provide more money for our public services and public sector remuneration.
Greater support for preventing the collapse of living standards will also be a growing political imperative. With general elections no more than two and a half years away and a long recession forecast, the next prime minister is not going to want to go to the country with a history of falling incomes and a contracting economy.
water is so precious
It’s dry. Walk through the local park and you’ll likely see thatch and dust where the grass used to grow. Yes, it’s August, but this isn’t your typical London summer.
The Environment Agency reports that England had just 10% of its long-term average rainfall for July, with the east and south east recording four percent. The hose ban for the capital is not yet in place, but next week Hampshire, Sussex and Kent will face one.
Water companies advised residents to report their neighbors if they broke the rules. Utilities must first look at themselves. Even leaving aside the expulsion of effluents in our rivers, the enormous amount of water lost through leaks confuses the mind. Just yesterday, a street was flooded in Kilburn, north London, as a result of a burst water pipe.
There are solutions to our water crisis. Both using (and wasting) less, but also finding new sources. But Thames Water’s desalination plant in Beckton, east London, which was built to deliver up to 100 million liters of water a day in dry weather events, is currently out of commission.
At the same time, in what appears to be a dystopian development, the source of the River Thames shifted five miles east as the riverbed that marks the official start dried up.
As our climate changes, extreme weather conditions such as drought will be more common. We must conserve what we have and find new sustainable sources of water.
A new season begins
Welcome back to the Premier League. We can hardly complain about a summer without football after the Lionesses produced one of the greatest moments in our country’s sporting history.
And while Crystal Palace v Arsenal at Selhurst Park tonight might not be England v Germany at Wembley, what better way to start the season than a London classic?
Can Mikel Arteta’s men take the next step? Will the title race be just another Liverpool-Man City two-horse race? And what will be the impact of the small matter of a men’s World Cup mid-season? There’s only one way to find out.