Still, the pain is set to deepen as the Bank of England warns inflation could soar to 11% in the autumn when October’s energy price cap hike kicks in, sending bills to a staggering £3,200 a year.
Bank Governor Andrew Bailey is also warning of a half-point hike in interest rates next month, dealing another blow to variable rate borrowers. These are just the latest demonstration of the challenges facing the next leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister.
By the time many people read this, the identities of the final two candidates who will face party members will be known. They each offer a different economic view, as they outline in today’s paper. But whoever emerges victorious faces an economy in serious trouble. Despite last month’s higher GDP figures, a recession remains a possibility. Inflation is driving the biggest drop in real wages in 20 years, while labor shortages and industrial action continue to haunt us.
Their ability to make a difference will determine our standard of living and whether the Conservatives can secure a fifth consecutive term.
Forest fire warning
If you weren’t already convinced that our climate had changed, then the wildfires in London should do the trick. Mayor Sadiq Khan said Tuesday was the busiest day for firefighters in London since World War II, as 41 properties were destroyed and 16 firefighters were injured amid record temperatures that topped a previously unthinkable 40C .
Now thunderstorms threaten more disruption – a reminder that climate change is not only bringing higher temperatures, but also extreme weather of all types, such as the widespread flooding suffered by Londoners last summer. And all of this is taking place in a world that has warmed “only” 1.2°C since pre-industrial averages, and is on track for much more.
Extreme weather events are our new reality in a world that will only get warmer. It’s a reminder amid all the pressing challenges we face – from the cost of living to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, to NHS waiting lists and crime – that our response to the climate emergency cannot be pushed into the background. Britain must step up its efforts to reach our legally binding goal of net zero by 2050.
All of the remaining Tory candidates support the policy, as do Labour. Maintaining that cross-party consensus and putting in place a comprehensive plan of action to achieve the goal is essential not only for our future, but also for our present.
Jake leads the charge
Jake Wightman had the ride of his life to become the first Briton to win a world 1500m title since Steve Cram in 1983. And to top it all off, his extraordinary ride was commented on by his father, Geoff.
Congratulations to Jacques and his team. A stunning achievement and enough to keep us going until the Lionesses face Spain at the Euros tonight, with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs. Good luck.