The Sun got an interesting briefing from the Shadow Chancellor’s office on Sunday night, revealing that Rachel Reeves is now backing a freeze of fuel duty to “help hard-pressed motorists”. Freezing fuel duty given current rates of inflation would cost the taxpayers around £6 billion…
Reeves told the paper:
“With so many families and businesses reliant on their cars, the government must rule out yet another fuel duty rise at the Budget to ease some of those pressures and prevent yet another shock to our economy.”
However given major questions about whether voters can trust a word Sir Keir’s Labour says, Reeves will struggle to explain why she appears to have performed such a volte-face on the issue of freezing fuel duty.
Responding to Rishi’s March 2020 budget, the then-backbencher Reeves slammed the government for spending £2.7 billion on “yet another fuel duty freeze”, despite COP26 in Glasgow being just around the corner:
“Yet what have we had in the Budget today? We have had £27 billion to invest in 4,000 miles of roads, and the fuel duty freeze, which costs £2.7 billion, but just £6 billion for local transport and a mere £140 million for a one-year extension of the electric vehicle grants. Frankly, that does not speak of a Government who recognise the scale of the challenge we face”
Later on, she tweeted that “yet another fuel duty freeze” was the sign the government “don’t recognise the challenge of the climate emergency.”
It wasn’t just Reeves slamming the government’s now-relatively modest spending on a fuel duty freeze. Lisa Nandy, the now-Shadow Levelling Up secretary also slammed the decision given:
“Car usage is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions – but instead of investment in low carbon transport, they’ve frozen fuel duty.”
We’re now supposed to believe the Labour Party sincerely believes in spending £6 billion on freezing fuel duty. Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides – provided voters can afford to fill up their cars…
Rishi Sunak has followed where Liz Truss left off and has already made a major U-Turn. On Twitter this morning the Prime Minister announced he would be attending COP27 after all. He added:
“There is no long-term prosperity without action on climate change. There is no energy security without investing in renewables. That is why I will attend @COP27P next week: to deliver on Glasgow’s legacy of building a secure and sustainable future”
Off to a flyer…
Research from the Centre for Policy Studies makes grim reading for those who want to see Britain as a leading hub of investment. The UK’s tax competitiveness was put at 26th of 38 OECD countries, with corporation tax at a more respectable 10th. However, any silver linings were crashed by the government’s U-turn on corporation tax. The UK has now fallen to a wretched 33rd position, both overall and on corporation tax. The number of OECD countries more welcoming to business than Britain has now trebled…
The figures mean that Britain is ahead of only France and Italy amongst the G7. They’re hardly the enterprising nations Liz “no new taxes” Truss would aspire to. The figures bring home the lunacy of Tory wets’ attack lines. Robert Halfon had called the mini-budget “libertarian jihad”. What would that make the lower-tax US, Canada, Japan and Germany?
Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy has been all over the airwaves and quick to slam the government for the situation in Afghanistan, though it’s not entirely clear what a Labour government would do differently. Labour – who at least under Corbyn had a fixed position – have both supported and criticised withdrawing from Afghanistan in the space of a month. Positively Starmer-ist positioning…
Last month (7 July) Nandy told Times Radio:
“… that time is coming to an end, it had outlived its usefulness that, you know, there were real problems with British troops being targeted. But there are also problems with the Afghan people feeling that the time was long overdue for them to be able to determine their own affairs….. in the end, there is no military solution for, no military future for the Afghan people.”
Now Nandy is condemning Britain’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. She told the BBC that:
“…one of the fallouts from the decision to withdraw and to withdrawal very quickly by the US and then by the United Kingdom, is that it sent a message to the Taliban, that they could roam across Afghanistan, with relative freedom with very limited consequences.
In fact, given that in 2010 Nandy abstained on a vote on continuing the UK’s deployment in Afghanistan, she has at different times been undecided about, in favour of, and against UK military involvement in Afghanistan. In power Nandy would have deployed the military in much the same way as the Grand Old Duke of York…