Related video: Labour to outline £29bn plan to avert energy bill rises
Overwhelmed food banks are unable to cope with unprecedented demand and are being forced to turn away families in need as more people are falling into hardship due to the UK’s cost of living crisis.
Several managers told <em>The Independent </em>that they were forced to have a “painful” discussion about caps on the number of people they can help as they ran out of food this summer.
A coalition of 70 charities urged Tory leadership contenders – Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak – to more than double the level of emergency support to low-income families in order to avert a “catastrophe” this winter, while Labour joined the Liberal Democrats in calling for the energy price cap to be frozen.
Meanwhile, Labour has laid out its £29bn plan to avert a rise in household energy bills, saying it would be partially funded by extending the windfall tax on oil and gas companies.
And a new Tory leadership poll suggests many Conservative members would still prefer Boris Johnson to either of the candidates to replace him.
Shapps proposes £2 bus fare cap amid cost of living crisis
Grant Shapps has proposed a £2 bus fare cap to help Britons with the cost of living crisis, reports The Telegraph.
Under the plan, the transport secretary has proposed a subsidy of £260m which could help travellers save up to £3 on a single ticket.
“The most vulnerable in our society need concrete help in the coming year, measures that make an immediate and tangible difference to daily spending,” he said, according to the outlet.
“And a simple way to do this is reduce the burden on those of us who rely on buses to get to work, the shops and the GP. Buses are for all of us, the most ubiquitous form of public transport.”
The proposal, which Mr Shapps is believed to have been working on since the beginning this year, was given renewed energy amid soaring fuel prices.
It was reported to be under consideration by Downing Street before prime minister Boris Johnson agreed to step down, but had been facing push-back from the Treasury.
Namita Singh15 August 2022 06:48
Johnson spotted in Greece on second holiday in two weeks amid cost of living crisis
The prime minister has been accused of leading a “zombie” government and failing to provide reassurance to families anxious about soaring energy bills expected to hit almost £3,600 this October.
Labour accused Mr Johnson of treating his final weeks in office as “one big party” after he was filmed shopping for groceries in a supermarket in Greece.
Greek news websites reported that the outgoing prime minister and his wife Carrie were in Nea Makri, a coastal town near Athens, and only a few hours away from where his father Stanley has a villa.
PM accused of treating final weeks in office as ‘one big party’
Namita Singh15 August 2022 06:25
Scottish salmon industry facing ‘acute’ labour shortages, bosses warn
Scotland’s salmon industry is facing “acute” labour shortages due to Brexit, business chiefs have warned.
In letters to candidates in the Tory leadership contest, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, Salmon Scotland has called for a more “enlightened” approach to immigration to assist businesses.
The body says the industry does not have enough staff across key skill areas due to workers returning to their homes in Eastern Europe as a result of Brexit.
“Very low unemployment and extremely limited labour availability in areas where our businesses have processing facilities, namely Rosyth near Edinburgh, Argyll, Fort William, Stornoway, Dingwall and three separate sites in Shetland mean processing factories are running 20 per cent light on staff,” Salmon Scotland said.
A change to key worker definitions, changes to the salary cap level and a broader public signal that the UK is open to people and thus to business have been cited by the body as measures to improve the issue.
Industry bosses have written to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, calling for a more enlightened approach to immigration to assist businesses.
Namita Singh15 August 2022 06:00
Rail fare increase in England will be below inflation rate, says government
An expected increase to rail fares in England will be less than July’s retail price index to help commuters cope with the cost-of-living crisis, said the government.
The price rise, which will come into effect next year, will be lower than the rate of inflation, according to BBC News and The Times.
The amount rail fares increase each year is calculated by the previous July’s retail price index (RPI). Ahead of the rate for 2023 being announced on Wednesday, the Department of Transport (DfT) confirmed to the BBC it would not be increasing fares as much as the July RPI figure.
A DfT spokesperson said the increase, which usually comes in effect in January, will be delayed until March in a bid “to help struggling households”.
The Government will not use July’s retail price index to calculate how much to raise rail fares in 2023.
Namita Singh15 August 2022 05:54
Keir Starmer unveils £29bn Labour plan to freeze energy price cap
Halting price rises in both October and January would save the typical family £1,000 and keep inflation under control during the cost of living crisis, according to Labour.
Sir Keir said his “fully-funded” £29bn plan to keep the cap at current levels throughout the winter would partly be covered by expanding the windfall tax imposed on oil and gas giants.
“Britain’s cost of living crisis is getting worse, leaving people scared about how they’ll get through the winter,” he said. “This is a national emergency. It needs strong leadership and urgent action.”
Read the details in this report:
Labour wouldn’t let people ‘pay a penny more’ in October and January, says Starmer
Namita Singh15 August 2022 05:31
Tory members prefer Johnson to Truss and Sunak, finds poll
The latest Opinium survey shows that Ms Truss has a healthy lead over Mr Sunak in the Tory leadership race, ahead 61 per cent to 39 per cent among Tory members.
But the poll shows signs of regret at the PM’s political demise over the Partygate scandal, and an apparent lack of enthusiasm for either of his would-be successors.
Signs of ‘Johnson nostalgia’ among both party members and 2019 Tory voters
Namita Singh15 August 2022 05:18
‘Overwhelmed’ food banks forced to turn people away
Several managers told The Independent they had run out of food this summer, with some reducing the size of parcels and having “painful” conversations about whether to cap the number of people they can help.
The Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan), a network of 550 groups across Britain, said the safety net was “crumbling” because of the ongoing rise in the number seeking support, with empty shelves increasingly widespread.
Read the details in this exclusive from my colleague Adam Forrest:
Exclusive: Demand for help now fast outstripping supply, say charities hit by empty shelves
Namita Singh15 August 2022 05:11
Welcome to The Independent’s UK politics live blog for 15 August 2022.
Namita Singh15 August 2022 04:38