Rishi Sunak’s ‘vain’ Budget promo video mocked
Ms Dodds’s comments came after chancellor Rishi Sunak was criticised for a pre-budget promotional video that ran for almost six minutes and included at least 100 shots of the North Yorkshire MP.
In the video, Mr Sunak vows that his spending plans to be set out in parliament on Wednesday will be characterised by “honesty and fairness”.
The film was criticised by opposition MPs. The Labour MP for the Rhondda in Wales, Chris Bryant, accused the chancellor of being “vain” while his colleague Darren Jones joked that there might be another “leadership election” in the Conservative Party. “I can’t keep up…,” the Bristol North West MP said.
Boris Johnson ‘preparing to set up charity’ to fund costly makeover of his Downing Street flat
Boris Johnson is believed to be trying to set up a charity to help pay for a costly makeover of his Downing Street flat, after protesting at the huge bill.
The prime minister complained the cost of the refurbishment – carried out by his fiancée Carrie Symonds – was “totally out of control” and running to “tens and tens of thousands”, it was reported.
Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick has more details:
Matt Mathers2 March 2021 09:37
Labour backs ‘gradual rise’ in corporation tax
The Labour Party has indicated it would back a “gradual increase” in corporation tax across the course of the next three years.
Writing in The Guardian on Monday, shadow chancellor and East Oxford MP Anneliese Dodds said Labour would first focus on getting the economy back on track before considering a rise in corporation tax.
Ms Dodd’s comments came after a week in which her party came under fire for hinting that any tax rises should not be an option as parts of the economy begin to reopen in the months ahead.
Earlier on Monday Ms Dodd’s said chancellor Rishi Sunak should “back off” from immediate tax rises but declined to offer her own Budget ahead of Wednesday announcement.
Matt Mathers2 March 2021 09:26
Sunak expected to extend furlough scheme
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has signalled that chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce a further extension of the furlough scheme in the Budget on Wednesday.
Mr Kwarteng told BBC Breakfast: “I think the Chancellor has already indicated that we will be extending furlough.
“I think that has been part of a public announcement. I think there will be other measures that we will see tomorrow.”
Matt Mathers2 March 2021 08:38
‘Much more ambition needed’ from Torys on financial services sector post-Brexit, shadow chancellor says
Labour’s shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds says the Conservatives need to show “much more ambition” in securing the future of the UK’s financial services sector post-Brexit.
The Oxford East MP accused the government of “furiously trying to manage expectations down” and said she was “particularly concerned” over the uncertainty surrounding the memorandum of understanding with the EU for the sector.
She said around one in 14 UK workers are employed in the sector.
With the response to the coronavirus pandemic expected to dominate the chancellor’s statement to MPs on Wednesday, Ms Dodds claimed the government “seem to have been focused on a strategy of extrication” over support for businesses and jobs.
Ms Dodds’s called on the Government to go “beyond the gimmicks around the challenges that young people face”, arguing the chancellor’s flagship Kickstart Scheme aimed at helping the young unemployed “sadly is failing”.
In a pre-Budget interview with PA, she said: “Well I have to say I’m particularly concerned about those aspects of our future trading relationship with the EU which haven’t yet been battened down by government.
“They’re meant to be concluding a memorandum of understanding with the EU 27 for trading arrangements for our financial and related professional services, now okay we’ve been told we can’t have a running commentary around those arrangements, but it seems like the Conservative Government is furiously trying to manage expectations down around what such a memorandum of understanding might include.”
She added: “Now we need to see much more ambition for financial services coming from the Conservative government. Actually one in every 14 UK workers, work in financial or related professional services, most of them outside London and yet we seem to see very little engagement from government around that issue.”
Matt Mathers2 March 2021 08:21
Rishi Sunak should avoid Budget ‘failures of the past’, says SNP’s Ian Blackford
Rishi Sunak should avoid Budget “failures of the past”, the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has said.
Mr Blackford said he fears “more of the same” from the Chancellor after a decade of austerity under Conservative governments.
And he insisted the UK should look towards the response of President Biden after the House of Representatives passed a 1.9 trillion dollars Covid relief bill.
Mr Blackford told the PA News Agency: “I think what the Covid pandemic has shown is the basic inequalities that exist in the UK and obviously we called right at the start of this to make sure there was enough financial support in place for everybody.
“And you’ll remember the prime minister promised to put his arms around everybody in the UK and that’s not been the case.
“There are problems with those that have been excluded, there are those that are having to rely on Universal Credit.
“And I have to say, when I look at the outcomes and I look at for example the increase in foodbank use, it’s pretty shocking and you have to remember that the starting position was that so many people were already in poverty.”
He continued: “Everything that we’re seeing today is really on the back of what’s been the wrong choices that have been made over the last 10 years, with taking cash out of people’s pockets rather than putting cash into them and we cannot go back to everything we’ve had over the course of the last 10 years.
“And you’ve seen the economic stimulus program for (US President) Biden and I think we need to take a leaf out of his book.”
Matt Mathers2 March 2021 07:55