Chancellor Rishi Sunak must learn a lesson from Sam Ryder’s British Eurovision and work out a victory plan to boost confidence and help prevent a recession, says Maggie Pegan

  • Sunak promised “everything in his power” to help people with the cost of living crisis
  • Chancellor knows he’s hot “anything”
  • The question is, what is “something”?

Thanks to Sam Ryder. The song Your Space Man, which took second place after Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest, became just a tonic to lift our spirits.

We Brits are ordinary people, so a catchy song plus points from our continental neighbors will help heal the post-Brexit splits and lift the spirits.

Rishi Sunak must learn a lesson from Ryder’s victory. He needs to put on a space helmet and make a winning battle plan to boost confidence and help prevent a recession.

Rocketman: Rishi Sunak should learn a lesson from Sam Ryder’s British Eurovision (pictured)

Sunak knows he needs to “do something.” Writing in the newspaper, the chancellor promised to do “everything in his power” to help people in crisis with the cost of living, fueled by inflation, supported by rising prices for energy and food.

The question is, what is “something”? So far, Sunak has been on a hawk path, hoping to balance the budget in times of extreme fragility. He resisted calls to abandon the increase in national insurance introduced in the Spring Statement, and went on to freeze the tax thresholds.

These are expensive steps. The new report estimates that one in five workers will pay either the highest or the highest rate by 2024. This suggests that 2.5 million taxpayers will be taxed at 40 or 45 percent due to freezing thresholds with higher wages.

In total, in two years, a record 6.8 million workers will pay higher rates, which is twice as much when the Conservatives came to power 12 years ago. Needless to say, the tax burden is now the highest in 70 years. Is it a legacy he wants to leave behind a decade and more of a conservative government?

Does the government want to go down in history as the one that raised taxes when we are exposed to rising inflation and for reasons beyond our control? Hardly: the reputation of economic competence is not easy to regain.

However, Sunak has the right to make changes. It should start with a wide range of elections: benefits should be increased, huge subsidies on electricity bills should be reduced, and 5% VAT could be dropped.

If the Chancellor had been really brave, he would have given up growing NO at all. Ironically, tax revenues look much healthier than expected, so the Treasury has more room to maneuver than it allows, and may take more to fund spending.

But Sunaku should withstand the pressure of an unexpected tax on the oil and gas giants. This may be a popular one-time measure, but there is little to encourage these companies to invest in exploration, which will bring more long-term benefits to customers.

The Chancellor also needs to get tougher with Andrew Bailey of the Bank of England. The governor’s reputation was severely damaged due to the fact that the Bank considered inflation “transitional” and had not raised interest rates earlier to keep inflation targeting at 2 percent.

Now the Treasury has to put pressure on Bailey and the Monetary Policy Committee to get ahead of the curve by immediately ending the easing program and better communicating with the markets – after all, the central bank is essentially a trick of confidence.

And if Sunak wants to regain confidence, he also needs to make a U-turn and present some extraordinary budget. This should not be an awkward reversal for him, and it is certainly not as embarrassing as the revelation that his wife does not have the status of a private house. He has experienced this sensation, so he is definitely big enough to admit that when the facts change, you change your mind. So do smart people.


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