Related: Sunak to ‘unequivocally condemn’ Russia’s war in Ukraine at G20 summit
Mr Sunak said that pensioners were “at the forefront of my mind” and claimed that the chancellor’s tax-and-spend plan had “fairness and compassion” at its heart.
His statement comes after Downing Street sparked fears last month that the triple lock could be scrapped, saying this was “on the table” in discussions as Mr Sunak and chancellor Jeremy Hunt drew up plans to fill a £60bn hole in the nation’s finances.
The measure, which applies to UK state pensions, ensures they rise in line with inflation, average wages or at a rate of 2.5 per cent – whichever is highest.
“My track record as chancellor shows I care very much about those pensioners, particularly when it comes to things like energy and heating because they are especially vulnerable to cold weather,” Mr Sunak told reporters en route to the G20 summit in Bali.
The prime minister and Mr Hunt have said they will look to put the greatest burden on those with “the broadest shoulders”.
Deputy PM ‘warned about his behaviour’ at the Foreign Office
Rishi Sunak is standing by deputy prime minister Dominic Raab as further allegations about his conduct emerged.
Mr Raab was reportedly warned about his behaviour towards officials while he was the foreign secretary.T
he concerns were raised with Mr Raab by Lord McDonald, who was the senior civil servant at the Foreign Office, and the mandarin also informally discussed the situation with the Cabinet Office’s propriety and ethics team, The Guardian reported.
In a radio interview yesterday, Lord McDonald had acknowledged that allegations Mr Raab could be a bully were plausible.
Mr Raab, who will stand in for Mr Sunak at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, was already in the spotlight over claims about clashes with officials at the Ministry of Justice – staff were reportedly offered a “route out” of his department when he was reinstated in October.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar15 November 2022 06:04
Rishi Sunak confronts Russia over Ukraine at G20 summit
Rishi Sunak has delivered a sharp rebuke to Russia at the G20 summit of world leaders in Indonesia, telling Vladimir Putin to “end this barbaric war”.
Facing Putin’s foreign secretary Sergey Lavrov across the conference table, Mr Sunak denounced the invasion of Ukraine as “illegal” and described Russia’s weaponisation of food and energy supplies as “unacceptable”.
It was the first time a UK prime minister went face-to-face with a representative of the Moscow regime since the start of the invasion in February.
Andrew Woodcock reports from Bali.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar15 November 2022 05:28
Tory-run councils warn Sunak of possible bankruptcy
Two Tory-run local authorities have warned prime minister Rishi Sunak that they will be forced into declaring bankruptcy due to soaring inflation.
In a letter to Mr Sunak, the leaders of Kent and Hampshire county councils said even “drastic cuts” to current services would not salvage the huge holes in their budgets.
“We cannot sit by and let two great counties sleepwalk into a financial disaster,” the letter read.
It added that the ministers had a choice to fund councils properly or change the law to remove the “outdated and under-resourced” legal obligation on town halls to provide services such as libraries and home-to-school transport.
The letter said: “The problem is simple: the additional money that we can raise from council tax and business rates barely covers the normal inflationary pressures that we face each year. This leaves significant growth, particularly in adults’ and children’s social care, totally unfunded.
“Without a fundamental change either in the way in which these two services are funded, or in our statutory obligations, all of upper-tier local government will soon go over the cliff edge.”
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar15 November 2022 05:22
Tax rises for everyone and big hikes to energy bills in mini-Budget
Everybody in the UK will be paying more tax as a result of Thursday’s autumn statement, chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said.
But the chancellor was put on notice of potential rebellion by backbench Tory MPs, as former cabinet minister Simon Clarke – a close ally of tax-slashing former PM Liz Truss – said that he should opt for spending cuts over tax rises “as much as he can”.
He also confirmed that government support for energy bills will be targeted at the most vulnerable after April, in a move expected to cost millions of households hundreds of pounds.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar15 November 2022 05:03
Rishi Sunak ditches pledge to place cap on refugee numbers
Rishi Sunak has ditched a key pledge from his Conservative leadership campaign to impose a cap on the number of refugees taken in by the UK each year.
The prime minister said that it would not be possible to consider a cap until the flow of migrants crossing the Channel from France by dinghy has been halted, which he admitted will not happen “overnight”.
Meanwhile, Mr Sunak set his face firmly against compulsory ID cards, after a Labour shadow minister floated them as a method of reducing irregular immigration.
“I do want to get migration down over time,” he said.
“But I think the most pressing priority we have and the British people have is getting a grip of illegal migration and small boats. And that’s what I’m spending most of my time on.”
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar15 November 2022 04:51
PM risks angering Tory MPs by backing down on Truss defence pledge
Prime minister Rishi Sunak has set himself on a collision course with defence hawks in his own Conservative Party by refusing to commit to increasing spending on the military to 3 per cent of GDP in this week’s autumn statement.
Mr Sunak dismissed warnings that stepping back from his predecessor Liz Truss’s target would be seen as a sign of weakness by Russian president Vladimir Putin at a time when the West is supporting Ukraine’s resistance to his invasion.
The prime minister announced the award of a new £4.2bn contract to BAE Systems to build five more warships for the Royal Navy, in a move he said would bolster the UK’s ability to counter Russian aggression.
Andrew Woodcock has more.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar15 November 2022 04:36
Rishi Sunak urged to raise benefits with inflation
Prime minister Rishi Sunak has been facing calls to raise all benefits in line with inflation, including those for working-age people, after he hinted at protecting the “triple lock” for the state pensions.
Ryan Shorthouse, chief executive of the Conservative think tank Bright Blue, said: “It is intellectually indefensible to protect the value of the state pension in line with inflation but not universal credit. Either both rise by inflation or both rise by earnings.”
Karl Handscomb, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation think tank, said: “With the cost of living crisis set to continue, and possibly even deepen, next year, it’s important that the chancellor sticks to pledges made this summer by his recent predecessor, and now prime minister, Rishi Sunak that all benefits – for working-age families, as well as pensioners – are uprated in line with prices next year.”
Andrew Woodcock and Kate Devlin report.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar15 November 2022 04:33
Rishi Sunak hints at protecting pensions ‘triple lock’
Prime minister Rishi Sunak has given his strongest hint yet that “triple lock” protection for the state pension will be preserved in Thursday’s autumn statement.
Mr Sunak said that pensioners were “at the forefront of my mind” and promised that the chancellor’s tax-and-spend plan had “fairness and compassion” at its heart.
The measure, which applies to UK state pensions, ensures they rise in line with inflation, average wages, or at a rate of 2.5 per cent – whichever is highest.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar15 November 2022 04:20
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Alisha Rahaman Sarkar15 November 2022 03:44