A budget to ease the squeeze

Here’s an idea. Take the surge in extra  tax on energy higher prices have brought, and give that money back to struggling taxpayers. The Treasury is  collecting  a mighty windfall. extra  revenue from North Sea oil and gas already paying double Corporation Tax. Some say that’s £8 bn extra so  far.  Extra  VAT on inflated home  energy bills. More tax at the petrol and diesel pumps.

This may amount to say a total £15 bn. That would mean the government could

Abolish the extra National Insurance imposed

Suspend VAT on fuel

Increase the Warm  Homes discount

Increase Universal Credit

Cut Income tax by 5% off the rate, taking it to 19%

Carry the cost of some of the renewable obligations on fuel prices for a period whilst gas prices remain elevated.

It is a bad idea to collect much more tax from producing and buying energy when the price of energy has just rocketed.

It is not the windfall tax that is so popular but the thought the money from it could be given back to customers of energy companies. the sun involved  is much smaller than the extra tax the government is already taking off us, so give that money back instead.




  1. […] Read more about A budget to ease the squeeze […]

  2. Mark B
    May 24, 2022

    Good morning.

    Or alternatively they can just continue, as LL would say, to tax, borrow and piss down the drain. I mean, when it has worked so well so far (/sarc) why change ?

    Of course, this is all part of the, Leveling up and 6uild 6ack 6etter strategy. You know the one ? Where we take from the Middle Classes and we give to the poor making everyone more equally poor / the same.

    1. PeteB
      May 24, 2022

      Or a real revolutionary idea. They could pay down the national debt…

    2. Richard II
      May 24, 2022

      SJR, Your post today seems to be premised on the idea that Johnson’s government wants to ‘ease the squeeze’. I see nothing it has done recently that would suggest that it does. Its major policies – green crap, lockdowns, conflict with one of the world’s largest food and energy suppliers – have simply put extra economic pressure on people in this country. In each case it has been able to rely on the media and opinion formers to deflect public awareness from the consequences of its actions. A lot of the higher tax revenues you mention will be going on subsidies to green energy and weapons for Ukraine, on present form. Johnson is now half-way through his mandate, and I see no chance that the second half will be any different. I wish I could.

    3. Hope
      May 24, 2022

      This blog by JR bears no reality to what his party and govt have already done in budgets before and during covid!

      The money printing and lockdown were Tory policies, not BOE or Treasury or everyone else in the world. If in doubt look at Sweden and others. They did not follow the moronic crowd or group think.

      Still pissing it up in number 10 in total contradiction to the laws Johnson created epitomises how he is totally unfit for office and why the Fake Tories should be thrown out of office. Why was he having a quiet word in Sue Gray’s ear before her report! No morals or values whatsoever. Behaviour and policies supported/condoned by JR and his colleagues. If not they would oust him.

    4. majorfrustration
      May 24, 2022

      Quite right what we want is more projects like HS2 and Hinkley Point

      1. Mickey Taking
        May 25, 2022

        yeah – build them in Neverland, big ambitious targets never been done before, never so expensive, never done to time and budget….a talking point for at least 1 decade often 2.

    5. IanT
      May 24, 2022

      I suspect that Sir JR is even more frustrated with this government than I am.
      (No need to respond to that Sir John) 🙂

    6. DavidJ
      May 24, 2022

      Indeed Mark!

    7. margaret brandreth-jones
      May 24, 2022


    8. Pauline Baxter
      May 24, 2022

      Mark B
      The main problem with the leveling up and build back better strategy in my opinion is that it has been taken over by Boris’s (or Carrie’s) crazy carbon neutral to save the planet, fantasy!
      I remember it being trotted out for the 2019 election. Maybe the slogan was used before. Perhaps it has previously meant ‘take from the middle to level down’.

      1. DennisA
        May 26, 2022

        The government is very much following the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Great Transformation was first expressed in 1992 at the Rio United Nations Conference on Environment & Development, which led to Agenda 21.

        The UN described Agenda 21 in one of its own publications in a 1993 article entitled “Agenda 21: The Earth Summit Strategy to Save our Planet:” “Agenda 21 proposes an array of actions which are intended to be implemented by EVERY person on Earth…it calls for specific changes in the activities of ALL people… Effective execution of Agenda 21 will REQUIRE a profound reorientation of ALL humans, unlike anything the world has ever experienced.”

        Western policy over the last few decades is the outcome of agreements we have entered into via treaties with the U.N. This policy has been warmly embraced by politicians of all political persuasions. Sustainable Development is the official policy of our country even though many citizens are ignorant of its existence. And this policy encompasses an entire economic and social agenda, which we are now seeing increasingly expand.

        In 2015, Agenda 21 morphed into Agenda 2030, hence many “initiatives” from government have 2030 as a deadline. It is the elephant in the room: https://sdgs.un.org/2030agenda

        1. We, the Heads of State and Government and High Representatives, meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 25-27 September 2015 as the Organization celebrates its seventieth anniversary, have decided today on new global Sustainable Development Goals.

        2. On behalf of the peoples we serve, we have adopted a historic decision on a comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centred set of universal and transformative Goals and targets. We commit ourselves to working tirelessly for the full implementation of this Agenda by 2030.

        “Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and its adverse impacts undermine the ability of all countries to achieve sustainable development. Increases in global temperature, sea level rise, ocean acidification and other climate change impacts are seriously affecting coastal areas and low-lying coastal countries, including many least developed countries and small island developing States. The survival of many societies, and of the biological support systems of the planet, is at risk.”

        The statement is full of provable falsehoods, but challenging it could well become illegal under the Online Harms Bill.

  3. Bloke
    May 24, 2022

    SJR’s idea is well-reasoned and evidently exhibits quality for effectiveness.

    The first step involves replacing the Chancellor with someone less obstructive who is sensible enough to realise what needs doing, and do it.

  4. DOM
    May 24, 2022

    Good morning

    Labour will exploit all crises to stoke fear and accumulate brownie points with an ignorant and clueless electorate who know nowt about the mechanics and finances of oil and gas companies. Labour fully exploit this ignorance by inciting the emotions to bypass reason and logic and yes, it is ignorance. There can be nothing worse than seeing a politician, bureaucrat or activist abusing the ignorance of the general public

    What cannot be denied is that this government has wasted $400bn on a healthcare scam that I believe was an act of brutal State politics and part of the bullshit that some term ‘The Great Reset’. I have no doubt the private taxpayer is being criminally abused to finance a Socialist infused realignment of State power vis a vis the individual. Authoritarianism has become the order of the day and we are being told we must finance it

    I am sure that many Tory MPs are decent people but their refusal to expose what we are seeing is utterly repugnant.

    1. Donna
      May 25, 2022

      Great comment. And I share your anger.

  5. DOM
    May 24, 2022

    ”Australian eSafety commissioner Julie Inman Grant tells the World Economic Forum we need a “recalibration” of freedom of speech.”

    This is the cancer at the heart of the western political class. It is nothing less than pure evil and the fact that they can say this so shamelessly in a public forum without a hint of shame is so disturbing

  6. Nigl
    May 24, 2022

    Fiddling at the edges as ineffective/meaningless as giving back £150 of council tax with costs like food, petrol, energy going through the roof. Transparently more political than easing any real burdens.

    A weak Chancellor in the grip of the Treasury and a PM built on sand.

  7. Lifelogic
    May 24, 2022

    Indeed, like Milton Friedman, I am in favour of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible. The reason is because the big problem is not taxes, the big problem is (invariably very wasteful) and misdirected government spending. Businesses and people do spending and investment far more effectively. Plus you then save all the wasteful costs of tax collection and reallocation allocation.

    Endless government waste that can and should be cut now. Start with net zero, HS2, renewable subsidies, loans for the hundreds of thousands of duff degrees and a bonfire of red tape.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 24, 2022

      Endless market rigging that should also go. This in energy, housing, healthcare, state schools, universities, transport… can we have a level playing field people between private provision and state provision and between social housing and private housing, road and rail… why is one hugely overtaxed and the other hugely subsidised but only for some at the expense of others not benefiting?

  8. Javelin
    May 24, 2022

    We need taxes to tackle obesity. Starting with most of the Cabinet.

    “LONDON (Reuters) – The majority of global COVID-19 deaths have been in countries where many people are obese, with coronavirus fatality rates 10 times higher in nations where at least 50% of adults are overweight, a global study found on Thursday.

    The report, which described a “dramatic” correlation between countries’ COVID-19 death and obesity rates, found that 90% or 2.2 million of the 2.5 million deaths from the pandemic disease so far were in countries with high levels of obesity.” – Reuters

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      May 24, 2022

      The market has responded by marking food up a notch or two.

  9. Sea_Warrior
    May 24, 2022

    Much better ideas than the socialists’ windfall tax on the energy companies – some of whom have just lost tens of billions as a result of government policy. But I wouldn’t increase UC; the country needs people to work – and UC is far too high already. Cut it – and use the money saved to reduce income tax.

  10. Shirley M
    May 24, 2022

    Boris is out to ‘save the world’, and the UK taxpayers are to fund it. We will become even poorer as Boris forces net zero upon us. Boris will make a few token adjustment but he is a climate zealot and doesn’t care about what it costs, or the people who pay for it.

    Unfortunately, democracy will not save us in time to prevent him damaging the UK beyond repair, and his political party either haven’t the cojones to boot him out, or they agree with his policies. Which is it? As Boris has so much support (even from yourself) then the majority of your party must agree with what
    he does.

    If your party are depending on Labour being even worse, and thinking that will save them at the ballot box, then the CONS deserve a thoroughly good kicking, along with the other main parties. What a way to treat the electorate! It’s as if you have created a cartel with the aim of destroying democracy and peoples willingness to vote for the ‘same old’!

    It’s nothing personal, Sir John. When I say ‘you’ I refer to your party, which are the absolute pits and may as well be renamed ‘New Labour, but with authoritarian globalist tendencies added on’.

  11. Lifelogic
    May 24, 2022

    ONS data clearly shows children are very much more likely to die following Covid-19 Vaccination than are Unvaccinated children. So why on earth are they vaccinating children and the young and still doing it? Surely this is criminal – and a waste of time and money.

  12. Ian Wragg
    May 24, 2022

    Nottingham hospital is spending £74 million to install heat pumps and rip out a very good gas system.
    Then they’ll be bleating for more money.

  13. Lifelogic
    May 24, 2022

    Why such huge hikes in standing charges there is no justification for these increases often doubling? The poor can cut back consumption by wearing more clothes, bathing less … but can do nothing about the standing charge a per house poll tax.

    1. Mark
      May 24, 2022

      OFGEM seem determined to lump more and more costs onto standing charges. They are already putting network charges there to pay for the capital cost of the grid and lower voltage distribution system, and now I note they plan to add in system balancing costs next year. These have already escalated to around £3bn p.a. as intermittent wind results in more and more curtailment and use of emergency spinning reserve and other grid support ancillary services, so expect another £100 or more on standing charges next year. These costs including the rapidly rising network costs are in reality policy costs of pursuing a high renewables grid, or all part of the cost of going green. A bit of honesty about this, and discussion as to whether it really is the right way to go is called for.

      1. turboterrier
        May 25, 2022

        A bit of honesty?
        No mate nothing short of total absolute honesty will be accepted.

    2. Mark B
      May 25, 2022


      My belief is, people are going to do just that, ‘cut back’. So to maintain their profits the otherside of the bill has to be increased thereby guaranteeing their income and profits.


  14. Lily
    May 24, 2022

    It’s getting a bit late for ideas when families are struggling now, schools are having more children coming in to breakfast “clubs” now and more people are relying on foodbanks now. I am so fed up of hearing government spokespeople telling us they are doing all they can when whatever they are doing clearly isn’t working NOW. Does your leader think a photo opportunity in a primary school will deflect us from the lies he has told? Why not a photo opportunity at a Foodbank instead?

  15. Sir Joe Soap
    May 24, 2022

    The extra deficit came from the weird idea of paying healthy otherwise working people to stay at home and rest .
    It would seem that trying to encourage them back now by reducing tax dramatically for workers might be a plan.

  16. Roy Grainger
    May 24, 2022

    But high energy prices mean people use less and so is good for their Net Zero target. That’s their main objective it seems.

  17. Old Albion
    May 24, 2022

    I’ve been advocating the removal of VAT from domestic fuel for many months. It seems the simplest option for a small but welcome reduction.
    However I keep reading that the Gov. cannot remove VAT from N.Irelands energy bills due to the N.I. protocol. So they will not remove it from GB energy bills.
    What do you say to this claim Sir JR ?

    1. Mark B
      May 25, 2022

      I don’t think they can remove VAT from energy bills. Not unless the EU let them.

      Have we left yet ?


  18. Freeborn John
    May 24, 2022

    Why no action from the U.K. government on the Northern Ireland Protocol? Hints are not going to fix anything and make things worse by encouraging the EU to believe Boris is bluffing again.

  19. Donna
    May 24, 2022

    Johnson: Thank you for your suggestion Sir John. I’ve passed it to xxxx for consideration (and they’ve filed it in the spherical object in the corner).

    Johnson knows he is infuriating Conservative/conservative voters, but he is trying to appeal to Labour/ LibDem/Green voters ….. and that means he will continue to copy their socialist-green policies “because they’re popular.” He hasn’t got a principled bone in his body, or the ability and inclination to really make the case for Conservatism.

    Like Cameron, he is suffering from the delusion that Conservative/conservative voters have no other Party to vote for. And, like Cameron, in due course he’ll find out he’s wrong. As will the CON MPs who refuse to get rid of him.

    1. Mark
      May 24, 2022

      Opinion polls are not suggesting that he has a winning strategy at the moment.

  20. Nottingham Lad Himself
    May 24, 2022

    If the profits of many concerns were shared more equitably with their employees, then perhaps those taxpayers would not be struggling at all, as John reminds us that they are.

    1. Peter2
      May 24, 2022

      Should these employees buy and own shares in the company?
      Or be ahead of other investors who risk their money?
      Do tell us NHL

  21. glen cullen
    May 24, 2022

    Excellent suggestion SirJ….thats why (like fracking shale gas) it will never happen

  22. rose
    May 24, 2022

    Very well put, Sir John. The fact that they haven’t already done this makes it look as if they are deliberately trying to crash Brexit.

    In furtherance of that cause, Smeargate is being stepped up: there must be a couple of by elections on the way.

    How come no-one ever tries to smear the Secretary of State and the senior civil servants at the Cabinet Office in Whitehall where something a bit more akin to real parties were held.?

    1. a-tracy
      May 25, 2022

      rose, smeargate is getting like the attacks on Trump and his family, where every Biden misstep is just covered up.

      Nigel Farage last night was just a joke, the man was making an issue of drinking at work when someone was leaving, when he is the only news broadcaster that invites his guests to drink booze on his show lol. I’d love to check if GB news ever raised a cheer for someone leaving during covid. There should be no alcohol in Downing Street at the work desk or in an office. That should be the punishment for them all including Boris other than in his private home apartments, and by the looks of it boy would that be a big punishment.

      We worked throughout covid and had a chap retire during the lockdown, we didn’t have booze in the office but we certainly all raised a cup of tea and coffee too him and wished him well on his way with a gift and a thank you. They didn’t invite people in off the street to join them in the send off, they didn’t have sick and vulnerable people in the room as you do in a care home or hospital, this is just blimin ridiculous, it was the people he worked with day in and day out, unlike Starmer that was mixing with lots of different people in a different region sharing a beer and curry. Why wouldn’t he stop to wish the leaver well.

      1. Hope
        May 25, 2022

        What a load of utter drivel. Johnson was deliberately scaring people/nation into compliance when He was encouraging his office and work place to have drinking sessions! Have you lost charge of your faculties?

        1. rose
          May 25, 2022

          a-tracy is right about Mr Farage – who is turning into an habitual liar. For example, he showed a photograph of the PM saying farewell and thank you to Cain in his office, and then told us: “There’s the Prime Minister going into a big booze up bash.” Anyone could see he was in his working suit, with red box at hand, and standing more or less in the doorway, saying a few gracious words before leaving as soon as he decently could. “Going into a big booze up bash”, with someone who had served him well but had then fallen out with him by insulting his wife? Pull the other one Nigel. Your bitter wish for revenge ill becomes you. You would rather lose Brexit to a Starmer/Sturgeon coalition than let this administration succeed.

        2. a-tracy
          May 26, 2022

          Hope, What is drivel about it? He was being guided by ‘Medical experts’, the Unions, the public whipped up by the press. They called him a gambler/a risk-taker if he tried to ease the scare – CNN 19 Jul 2021 — It’s not the first gamble the PM has taken during the pandemic: He ended a lockdown on December 2 having pledged people a normal Christmas.

          Johnson was roundly criticised by all the press in March 2020, the guardian reported that “A majority (56%) also think the government did not act fast enough.” 28 March.
          Bloomberg 4 Apr 2020 — Moreover, radical social distancing—the lockdown measures being put in … Medical experts accused Johnson of failing to act soon enough.
          BBC 5 Jan 2021 — Nick Eardley examines how Boris Johnson went from urging parents to send children to school to a strict lockdown. A key factor was the UK’s four chief medical officers who, around the same time Boris Johnson was being interviewed at a hospital in London for TV, made the decision to move the whole of the UK to the highest Covid alert level.

          They drafted a joint statement saying that the NHS was under “immense pressure” and that they were not confident it could handle a further sustained rise in cases.
          It concluded: “Without further action there is a material risk of the NHS in several areas being overwhelmed over the next 21 days. That put huge pressure on Boris Johnson to act ahead of the release of that statement. Labour was also calling for a national lockdown in England to be imposed immediately ”

          27 Dec 2021 — Boris Johnson’s rejection of lockdown could pay big dividends in 2022

          As for Nigel Farage what I said was a fact, he encourages his guests to drink whilst he is consuming alcohol on his show, he has one of his show meetings with the public and guests in a pub. He worked with a team of people throughout covid and jetted off abroad. I don’t mind but it is hypocritical. He likes to set off little bombs does Nigel and just walk away.

  23. Keith from Leeds
    May 24, 2022

    Hello Sir John,
    Today’s diary is common sense, so why do we have a PM & Chancellor who can’t see it? Beyond your suggestions, I would say cut all Quango budgets back to what they were in 2010. You have not commented but Quango spending it has nearly doubled since 2010, so their spending needs a serious cutback. Where is the competent Minister who understands simple financial rules? Cut tax & your revenue increases, the economy grows, increase tax your revenue goes down & the economy shrinks. The Conservative government is in serious trouble when Labour can claim to be a tax-cutting party.

  24. rose
    May 24, 2022

    “Early Margaret Thatcher followed Treasury austerity and high tax policies. It plunged the economy into a very unpopular downturn.Then on advice from outside the Treasury, she eased the squeeze which worked. Those who use her name should understand the history.”

    Furthermore, it was this economic improvement which was already showing in the polls before the Argentine invasion. But lazy media always attribute the subsequent election victory to the Falklands success. If the country had still been in the economic doldrums, victory in the South Atlantic would not have been enough to guarantee that second term. On the contrary, it would have been resented as a big national expense.

  25. Narrow Shoulders
    May 24, 2022

    An increase in Universal Credit will just increase inflation further.

    Why should those receiving our money be insured against a phenomenon that we taxpayers are not?

    Reduce tax and VAT to help everybody, do not cherry pick who is helped.

    1. rose
      May 25, 2022

      I agree with your dislike of targeted subsidies. It is a trend which seems to be taking off, with people even demanding some customers pay more for a product than others. Tax overall needs to be simplified and lowered until people no longer want to spend money avoiding it, by either emigrating or sending their money away; where people find it simpler and easier to pay tax and get on with earning more.

    2. a-tracy
      May 25, 2022

      There are people getting Universal credits that aren’t even in the UK, the checks aren’t there.

      1. rose
        May 26, 2022

        One of the government departments even gave the figures for how many are claiming and getting it in Bulgaria and Romania. One way of accounting for the missing six and a half million souls.

  26. Original Richard
    May 24, 2022

    So with this budget energy prices remain at the current very high levels?

    Isn’t a government taxing one group to give it away to another group levelling down socialism?

    Isn’t this a perfect example of LL’s tax and p down the drain?

    Shouldn’t the money go instead to reducing fuel bills and hence to those who are currently being fleeced?

    A VAT cut is insufficient. The green levies need to be cut.

    At the very least the Government should call a halt to the Net Zero lunacy, which is designed to increase the cost of energy as a way to curb CO2 emissions. It is unnecessary and pointless and because unworkable will destroy our economy and security.

    1. Mark B
      May 25, 2022

      Isn’t a government taxing one group to give it away to another group levelling down socialism?

      Shhhhh ! Your not supposed to say that. It is now called ‘Levelling up.

  27. Everhopeful
    May 24, 2022

    Sounds like a much better idea than taxing the energy companies and giving the money to those already living high on the hog on Universal Benefit ( to the naive…. they DO!)
    And how utterly BONKERS to disincentivize the companies just when we really need them!

  28. graham1946
    May 24, 2022

    The energy companies are collecting a mighty windfall and boy, aren’t they just making hay whilst the government creams in more unexpected money. The oil and gas companies are collecting a ‘mighty windfall’. You can’t go past a petrol station once a week without seeing increases in price and record windfall profits are filling coffers of the oil giants, whilst people struggle. It’s no accident that stock market prices in the oil and gas sector are booming up to 14 percent, whilst the economy is tanking. Wait till it gets cold, if the govt don’t do something there will be defaults like we’ve never seen. The government don’t need the extra tax and the oil companies don’t need the rip off profits. It will end in tears. Prices are being kept up artificially to allow the government’s green obsession to become embedded, regardless of what it does to ordinary people.

  29. Magelec
    May 24, 2022

    Boris and Ritchie are just building up a war chest for a give away budget before the General Election.

    1. Mark B
      May 25, 2022

      Ketching !!!!


    2. William Long
      May 25, 2022

      I wish I thought it was for such a constructive purpose. Sadly though it is far more likely to be wasted on useless Greenery, ‘Diversity’ or more managers for the NHS.

  30. hefner
    May 24, 2022

    ‘UKSA! An obsession with America pollutes British politics’, Bagehot, 19/05/2022, economist.com
    ‘It leads to bad policy, dull conversation and homogeneous bookshelves’.

    Ability of 15-30-year olds to read and write in two or more languages (%)
    UK 32, Ireland 75, France 77, Spain 85, Italy 90, Germany 91, Luxembourg 95, Sweden 97, Netherlands 97, Denmark 99.
    European Commission survey on the European Education Area, April 2018.

    Percentage of all candidates taking a European language A-level exam in England in 2019 (statista.com): Spanish 1.1%, French 1.0%, German 0.4%.
    For comparison: Chinese 0.4%

    assets.publishing.service.gov.uk ‘Recent trends in modern foreign language exam entries in Anglophone countries’, Ofqual/19/6557/3, Nov.2019.

    Global Britain ..?

    1. Peter2
      May 24, 2022

      Odd set of statistics heffy
      Are you claiming that if someone can speak more than one language they are automatically superior?
      Added to your opening paragraph where you display the cliche leftist anti American view.

      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        May 25, 2022

        All other things being equal of course they are superior!

        1. Peter2
          May 25, 2022

          Not necessarily.
          You could have other important skills and trades which make you very useful and still only speak one language.

    2. Hat man
      May 25, 2022

      Yes, Hefner, it should be a national embarrassment. Big thanks to Blair who got rid of a compulsory foreign language from the national curriculum.

    3. a-tracy
      May 25, 2022

      Hefner, I wonder what % of those in the other Countries you mention have English as their second language?

      1. hefner
        May 25, 2022

        In France and Germany more than 60% of secondary school students have English as a second language. A second language is practically compulsory to take the French Baccalauréat or the German Abitur.

        Since the 70s, French baccalauréat has to have Français and at least another language (usually English, German, Spanish, but Italian, Arabic, or even Chinese might be taught).
        There is a specialised Baccalauréat Français International where the exam can be taken with French and two or even three languages (education.gouv.fr/bo/22/Hebdo2 13/01/2022).

        In some German secondary schools from ‘year 10’ geography is taught in this second language.

        The A-level system with the majority of students only taking three topics, with often no language nor any scientific topic, to me at least, does not look as anything conducive to a Global Britain. ‘Une nation de boutiquiers, peut-etre ?’

        1. a-tracy
          May 27, 2022

          hefner, all of my children did four A levels five AS, my daughter speaks 3 foreign languages. They all took Maths at AS level and A level with one taking Further Maths, Chemistry, and Physics. I saw lots of their friends in a normal mid league high school taking similar.

          English is the majority language that is why Brits don’t feel the need to study another, especially if they can’t afford foreign holidays anyway.

          1. margaret
            May 30, 2022

            She sounds a very bright young lady. Its taking me all my time to remember the languages I am leaning on daily on Duolingo . She will never be out of a job with such a diverse education.

  31. turboterrier
    May 24, 2022

    And all the while the waste elephant in the room gets bigger and bigger, also housing, energy, health, police, transport, water, sewerage immigration both legal and illegal are knocking on the door trying to get in.
    One common denominator for all the above is that of frastructure if its not in place costs for everything rises.
    Are you Sir John the only politician we have can see and understand all this?
    Would it not be a good time to do a full frontal attack on waste real waste because the more saved the less the taxpayer has got to find. One thing certain it’s not going to go away.

  32. Mockbeggar
    May 24, 2022

    And of course, Shell and BP, the two principal oil companies in this country have both sacrificied around £30bn in assets by getting promptly out of Russia. Most of their shareholders are pension funds and their dividends affect an awful lot of us.
    Don’t forget, the oil companies wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t wanted the kerosene to light our homes (instead of whale oil), petrol to fuel our cars and, in BP’s case, fuel oil to power our navy ready for the first world war
    and then generate electricity and now gas to heat our homes.

    1. R.Grange
      May 25, 2022

      And who looks like getting in to take up BP and Shell’s former stakes in Russian oil production? Why it’s The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India, Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil, and Oil India. ‘India continues to buy oil from Russia and hopes to lock in some good upstream assets there at a cheaper rate as Western majors offload investments.’ (Economic Times [India] 19th May). So that’s all right, then?

      1. Mitchel
        May 25, 2022

        Precisely why Japan has refused to sell it’s interests in Russian energy projects in the Arctic and Far East.

  33. oldwulf
    May 24, 2022

    “A budget to ease the squeeze”

    This smacks of desperation… after the event.

    We need a Budget which is more adventurous, perhaps even visionary….. and we need a leader who can sell it to us so that we can all get behind it. I don’t believe that the current “Conservative” Government is capable of this.

  34. Everhopeful
    May 24, 2022

    So, apparently Sri Lanka was the first nation to be forced to adopt organic growing.
    And now they are STARVING!
    I have known for a long time that organic/permaculture is a huge scam.
    And now I see that it was always an agenda to starve us….population control.
    Rewilding aka permaculture/organic aka starvation.

    1. Mark B
      May 25, 2022

      From the pictures I have seen these people are far from starving. If anything, they could benefit from a little weight loss.

      This is about cost.

  35. formula57
    May 24, 2022

    All very welcome proposals but implementation would first require a Government on our side of course.

  36. Mark J
    May 24, 2022

    It is clear that Fuel companies are profiteering from the current situation.

    For example: A litre of Diesel on a recent visit to Bracknell was 184.9p, with all Stations in the area fixed at this price – bar Sainsbury’s. In Reading, it is possible to get s litre of Diesel for under 180p per litre. ASDA in Lower Earley was 179.4p on my last visit.

    Rather than a windfall tax, fuel prices should be reduced and capped. Any cut in fuel duty should be a legal requirement to pass on to the consumer. The previous 5p cut was not passed on by many outlets. Instead choosing to pocket this amount to bolster their profits.

    This would help people more than a tax, which we know the money will be siphoned off to pay for other things.

    I also support calls for a ‘Pumpwatch Regulator’. It is clear the fuel companies can’t be trusted not to rip us off, and so now need eyes watching them and pulling them into line.

    I would also like to know how Mr Redwood stands on the proposed ULEZ expansion in London. This is a daft proposal that will affect many people who live on the fringes of London, including including those that need to travel to Heathrow Airport. The Government should be stepping in to say NO to this.

    1. Mark B
      May 25, 2022

      We do not need another toothless regulator. It would however be a good idea for the oil companies and / or the government to publish a breakdown of exactly how much, in percentage terms, a litre of fuel costs. This way we can see where the money REALLY is going.

      What we are witnessing is the largest tax grab in our nation’s history to cover the losses due to government mismanagement. And it not end !

  37. No Longer Anonymous
    May 24, 2022

    It is important that people realise just how much of the cost of living crisis is the tax take.

    The Government and supporters are trying to make bogeymen of energy suppliers.

    When they say 75% of pump price is tax this is wrong. Petrol is being taxed at a rate of 300% !!!

    As Dom said yesterday, “Let the private sector breath. It really is that simple.”

  38. William Long
    May 24, 2022

    And we hear that the ONS has cut its estimate of Government borrowing by £7.2m, which must helpyour case for common sense. But we also read that this left wing Government has its ears firmly shut and the Windfall Tax is on its way. Why are Johnson and Sunak so short of an agenda of their own that they can only follow the bright ideas of the Opposition?

    1. Mark B
      May 25, 2022

      Because the Tory Party only exists to be in power and nothing else. And. Because the last time it had a radical PM with ideas it nearly cost them membership of the EU, so they had to get rid of her. And ever since they will never allow anyone like that near power again.

  39. Geoffrey Berg
    May 24, 2022

    Though what Sir John Redwood proposes here is better than other ideas and it is important to enact those tax reductions that would best generate growth, these proposals would not abate the biggest problem, inflation.
    Inflation is not just very bad because it steals value from people’s savings and pensions. It is also particularly vicious in setting off industrial unrest and disruption and killing off electoral support for governments (that get blamed and voted out even if they are not really responsible for it and even if oppositions have no real solution for it).
    Increasing Universal Credit payments will only fuel inflation and suggest to working people if those out of work are getting much more money, all workers who face similar inflation must also get much more money from their employers -result, economic disruption and yet more inflation.
    The better, albeit expensive option (fifty billion pounds or so a year) is to spend government (i.e. taxpayers’) money on emergency price subsidies on fuel and maybe some items of food so as to drive inflation down below 5%. That of course is not freemarket nor sustainable in the long term nor genuinely Conservative but if inflation is not forced down quickly there is very unlikely to be a Conservative government after the next election (even though otherwise Boris Johnson is much more electorally appealing than Keir Starmer).

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      May 25, 2022

      It closes the gap between those not working and those who are, if you go to work you want to see a bit of a difference for you efforts against someone who doesn’t. If a person’s total of benefits were shown as pre tax earnings it would show they are on a very good income.

  40. Denis Cooper
    May 24, 2022

    Also off topic, does the UK government have anything to say about this?


    “UK scientists blocked from Horizon funding programme amid Brexit tensions”

    “The European Union (EU) has confirmed it is holding back the UK’s access to the £81bn ‘Horizon Europe’ programme as a response to Boris Johnson’s plans to tear up the Northern Ireland protocol.”

    Such as, even if this EU reaction does not actually breach any agreement with the UK, which seems doubtful, it is both a premature reaction, and an entirely disproportionate reaction, to UK “plans”to do something, which planned something might not cause the EU any material harm even if it was done.

    Is this not another example of the bully boy tactics favoured by the EU?

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      May 24, 2022

      Nooo… they’re our friends!
      If this government had an ounce of sense it would set up a competing programme. One thing we’re better than EU countries generally is inventing things.

  41. hefner
    May 24, 2022

    ‘Will major North Sea investment solve the energy crisis.’, investorschronicle.co.uk, Alex Hamer, 23/03/2022.
    Also worldnewsera.com, 23/05/2022, ‘North Sea’s biggest oil and gas producer warns against UK windfall tax’.

    To the original question, Harbour Energy said no, as the added cash flow should go to debt reduction and shareholder returns, not to an immediate increase in expansion or exploration spending.
    Shell is hesitant going any further in developing the Cambo field.
    BP (via IOG) will get some gas from the Blythe and Elgood fields.

    Rather a mixed picture.

    1. Peter2
      May 24, 2022

      Of course Shell are reluctant to invest heffy.
      The Government is not stating they are happy to support businesses who are prepared to invest in fossil fuels.
      Would you risk many millions of your money?

    2. Mark B
      May 25, 2022

      The problem with UK fossil fuels compared to other nations like Russia, USA, Canada, Australia and the Gulf States is that our reserves are not as big and, where they are located is both difficult and expensive to extract. ie North Sea and deep coal mines.

      It is all to do with market forces, plain and simple.

    3. Mark
      May 25, 2022

      Really the wrong question. The effort to increase supply must be global, just as it was after OPEC exerted their monopoly power in the 1970s. For the UK, there is added benefit if we can contribute domestically, but that is only relative.

  42. Ed M
    May 24, 2022

    Thumbs up

  43. mancunius
    May 24, 2022

    “Increase the Warm Homes discount”
    No! Don’t do that, as it just increases the energy costs for the rest of us: those who work and pay taxes. The WHD is operated by the energy suppliers, and the amount they discount to those on pension credit/benefits is dictated by, but not subsidised by the government. The energy companies make up for the loss by charging the other customers more. (The same is true of ‘discounted’ water rates.)
    The solution is to abolish all discounts. Guaranteed pension credit is already a gift from the taxpayer to the non-earner.

    1. Pauline Baxter
      May 25, 2022

      mancunius. I am sure you are wrong there. My warm homes discount is definitely paid by the government to my energy supplier who, until I switched, ignored that it put me in credit, so continued to raise my D.D..
      At 77 years old I think I am entitled not to work.

  44. miami.mode
    May 24, 2022

    ……whilst gas prices remain elevated……..

    Unless supply increases gas prices may stay permanently elevated. All this waffle about world prices is nonsense because countries with their own supply will pay nothing like the daily spot price. Government needs to get its act together and sort out supply.

    As an aside, planning has been refused for “nodding donkey” oil extraction in Lincolnshire.

  45. Pauline Baxter
    May 24, 2022

    Err . . . . . .
    Is it Sir John’s idea in his diary today? Or is it Apex breaking news today’s idea?
    Or has Sir John written HIS idea in Apex?

    Whatever, it sounds right to me.
    Presumably ‘Suspend VAT on fuel’ includes electricity and gas for domestic and industrial use.
    Totally agree with today’s diary Sir John.

  46. BOF
    May 24, 2022

    Once again, I am in full agreement with these eminently common sense proposals, but they are sure to fall on deaf ears. The windfall tax is a popular soundbite and the idea of taking from the rich to help the poor will become irresistable.

    Also, so long as we have the CC Act and net zero on the statute book, that will take precedence. An 80 seat majority is a wasted opportunity for this government to scrap these disasters so our next election is bound to follow Australia. A loss for conservatives followed by an even harder drive for these economy destroying policies.

  47. DavidJ
    May 24, 2022

    Excellent idea Sir John but I suspect others, especially Boris, would prefer to retain our money and squander it.

  48. Ex-Tory
    May 24, 2022

    This is fine as a means of mitigating the effects of inflation if we think the inflationary pressures are very temporary.

    If they are more long-seated, the problem is that this would make it worse by boosting consumption. Under such circumstances a cut in corporation tax would be better so as to incentivise investment in the long term.

  49. agricola
    May 24, 2022

    You suggest vision, great but I want to see vision. We are currently being ruled by the myopic. It is very depressing. Flavour the depression with woke, whatever it is, and a big dollop of political correctness, against which we need a revolution. When I read yesterday that a man of achievment from the North East was being prosecuted for addressing a waitress as Pet, I knew that the UK had lost the plot. For heavens sake wake up and smell life as it is rather that the ersatz version that is currently on the menu.

  50. Mike Wilson
    May 24, 2022

    Do any other MPs in your party agree with you? You must be a thorn in the side of Johnson and his acolytes.

  51. John McDonald
    May 24, 2022

    Dear Sir John have you allowed for the cost of UK’s War with Russia in the proposed budget ? It’s not just energy but food and the basics that need to be taken into account.
    We have to ask would we be in a better position if the utilities were still nationalised ?

    1. Mitchel
      May 25, 2022

      Not to mention the guarantees given by the UK for World Bank loans to Ukraine which will never be repaid.

  52. acorn
    May 24, 2022

    Alas JR, I don’t see you getting a Blue Peter badge for your budget. For those who know where to look for the data; and, know how to crunch the numbers there; you will have discovered that the UK has this month regained the title of the “Sick Man of Europe”, last won in the seventies. I will let JR explain it to you, otherwise this post will not get through the neoliberal moderation filter.

    1. Peter2
      May 24, 2022

      Well acorn it did get through moderation.
      But you got your neo liberal meme in again
      So…well done

  53. ChrisS
    May 24, 2022

    “Cut Income tax by 5% off the rate, taking it to 19%”

    The basic rate was 20% last time I looked………………….

    Reply Yes so 5% off20% is 19%

  54. Peter2
    May 24, 2022

    You are quite right Sir Jon.
    In decades long ago Chancellors would reduce taxation in order to stave off recession and encourage growth.
    Give the people more take home pay and let us spend it as we think best.

  55. Mickey Taking
    May 24, 2022

    I remember some examples of young students away from home, breaking rules by having a couple of friends in their room with a few drinks….
    Now in the Government working palace where rules were set, we hear some workers were stunned, ashamed, and challenged what was going on, but were dismissed as kill-joys.
    Not once, not twice, but so many times there is doubt that Ms Gray has them all documented.

    It seems the Conservative Party would rather keep the poshboy fool at the head of the piss-up organisation than admit they supported a wrong’un and chuck him out.

    1. Bill B.
      May 25, 2022

      It was the lockdown policy that was wrong, MT. All lockdown fines must now be rescinded.

      1. Mickey Taking
        May 25, 2022

        and 170,000 Covid funeral bills reimbersed by Government?

  56. Original Richard
    May 24, 2022

    The Net Zero/Green religion/communist activists do not want energy prices to fall as this is a first step/transition to the Great Reset/Build Back Better program.

  57. BW
    May 24, 2022

    Always money for foreign aid. Always money for illegal migrants. Always money for MP’s pay increases. Always money to give to Ukraine. Just none for us.
    I had so much hope when Boris won an 80 seat majority. With that majority he has completely failed the electorate.
    Nobody in the government is listening to you Sir John. Our democracy is completely broken as our government run petrified of minority mobs who seem to leave them stupefied.

  58. anon
    May 25, 2022

    Nationalise say the coal power stations and run them at full capacity to relieve the pressure on gas burn. Until other generating units are available to do the same. Start to mine & stockpile coal for a sustained coal burn.

    However given the success rate of HMG and the BOE good luck with them doing anything sensible.

    I am just waiting for the announcement that Boris has an oven ready deal agreed to rejoin the new EU.

  59. Lindsay McDougall
    May 25, 2022

    Alternatively, ensure that everybody earning the minimum wage pays no income tax and no NI. A word of caution: Government borrowing for FYR 21/22 has come in £17 billion higher than the last OBR forecast.

  60. Iain Gill
    May 25, 2022

    make work visa holders pay national insurance, & their employers pay employers national, insurance from their very first day working in this country.

    stop any tax free supposed “expenses” payments to work visa holders that Brits working far from home within the UK would get.

    scrap IR35.

    encourage freelancers, rather than constantly giving the vibes that the political class hate them.

    all easy stuff.

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