DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Rishi can and must help families in crisis

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Rishi can and must help families in crisis

More troubling signs yesterday that the cost of living crunch will get a great deal more painful before it gets better.

Ofgem forecasts that the energy price cap will spike again in the autumn to £2,400 – an increase of more than 20 per cent on the current ceiling of £1,971.

But there’s worse. Much worse. If the Ukraine war intensifies and disrupts global supplies, the regulator says the cap could reach a terrifying £5,000.

Even at the more optimistic level, many poorer families would be unable to heat their homes or cook their meals. At the higher mark, average earners would be beggared too.

With such mass hardship around the corner, the Chancellor must stop sitting on his hands. While the root cause of the energy crisis may be beyond his control, he can and must cushion the blow.

Because his own family is so wealthy, Rishi Sunak has been accused in recent days of being out of touch with the problems of ordinary people. He is pictured speaking yesterday at a Q&A in Darlington

Going ahead with crippling tax rises this month was a grievous error and has made a grim situation worse.

Money must be put back into people’s pockets through tax cuts and the slashing of the spurious green levies that make up 25 per cent of household bills.

Because his own family is so wealthy, Rishi Sunak has been accused in recent days of being out of touch with the problems of ordinary people.

Unless he comes up with a package of genuinely radical measures to help struggling families get through this crisis, those accusations of indifference in the face of suffering will only grow.

A journey into chaos

It’s true that airlines and airports had a torrid time during the pandemic, with many operators teetering on the edge of bankruptcy – and one or two tipping over it.

But with the worst firmly behind us, they must now resume normal service fast if they are to restore consumer confidence and rise from the Covid ashes.

What they don’t need is the chaos and managerial incompetence we’ve seen at all our major airports over this Easter holiday period.

A raft of cancellations and delays, bemused passengers shambling around without any idea when or if their holidays will go ahead, and a dearth of up-to-date information. They blame staff shortages and absences due to Covid, but where was the contingency planning?

Easter is one of the busiest times of year for air travel. Yet the surge in business seems to have taken them by surprise.

Indeed, the entire transport system has been about as adaptable as a dinosaur in an asteroid storm.

There are 20-mile lorry queues outside Dover after ferry services were slashed. The railways have been paralysed by untimely engineering work.

And as if that weren’t bad enough, the picketing of fuel depots by moronic eco-zealots has led to shortages of petrol in some areas.

The transport network is the key not just to reviving Britain’s holiday industry but also to our wider economic recovery. At the moment it resembles something out of the Third World.

So is anyone really trying to fix it – and if not, why not?

  • NHS managers accuse the Government of losing interest in Covid and call for the restoration of masks and social distancing to reduce infection rates. Inevitably, they suggest budgets are too tight and say their targets for clearing waiting times may not be achievable. Given that they have had record injections of cash, isn’t it time they took some responsibility for NHS problems, instead of reflexively blaming the Government? They are paid handsomely to manage. They should stop this constant whining and do their jobs – as everyone else has to in these difficult times.

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