The sad death of Queen Elizabeth reminds me of my own mother’s death at the age of 100. They looked similar in later life. Both managed to die in their own home which is the best place from which to leave. Will Charles III make a good king? We will have to wait and see but his name is not propitious bearing in mind the track record of the previous two. As I am not a monarchist I will say no more.
It was interesting to see an open coal fire in use in the photographs of Liz Truss with the Queen. Balmoral does not have central heating apparently while Buckingham Palace does have a CHP plant. But the bill to run the later was about half a million pounds per annum before the projected price increases. So King Charles might welcome Truss’s announcement to cap the maximum price of gas and electricity.
This is a cap on prices, not on overall cost so people with big houses with large gas consumption will still pay more. But at least it will replace the OFGEM price cap which was an irrational policy. Fracking is also being permitted to boost local gas production.
Truss did not give in to calls for this largess to be funded through a windfall tax. She said this would undermine the national interest by discouraging the very investment we need to secure home-grown energy supplies. You can’t tax your way to growth she said. So it will be funded by more Government debt in essence.
Is this wise? I believe it is the lesser of evils as it will help to bring inflation under control which is essential to keep the economy healthy and avoid a severe recession. These decisions by Truss and her new cabinet are positive in my view. But she is still committed to net zero by 2050 which is simply an unrealistic and unachievable objective.
With a new Prime Minister we are getting a new Cabinet. Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps has gone, thank god, to be replaced by Anne-Marie Trevelyan. She might be pro road building as in 2007 she campaigned to dual the A1 in the North of England. Liz Truss also supports road building – in a recent speech she said “We will get spades in the ground to make sure people are not facing unaffordable energy bills and we will also make sure, that we are building hospitals, schools, roads, and broadband”.
Other new Ministers in the Department for Transport are Kevin Foster MP and Lucy Frazer MP.
This is all positive news. Other good news is that Andrew Gilligan, the transport advisor to Boris Johnson and a keen promoter of cycling, has gone.
But the attack on private cars continues. Oxfordshire County Council is proposing to restrict private cars from the City Centre altogether but permitting taxis, PHVs, LGVs, HGVs etc. Local residents will be given permits to use on 100 days per year. This draconian measure is subject to a public consultation – see https://letstalk.oxfordshire.gov.uk/traffic-filters-2022 . Please respond to it before the 3rd October although this is a very biased survey with way too many questions. I added these comments however: “This survey is totally biased with preconceived answers to the questions imposed to get the answers you are looking for. A total disgrace!”.
I hope the new Transport Ministers will put a stop to such schemes which are inherently illogical.
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