LibLink: Christine Jardine Will new PM save us or watch as economy is wrecked?

Christine Jardine has some questions for our new PM in this week’s Scotsman column.

For many of us, the question will be whether the new Prime Minister will be equipped to deal with the crises that have gone unaddressed while the country awaited the outcome of their party’s decision-making process.

And does the government actually even understand the extent of the fear being felt across the country at what this winter might bring?

A survey carried out by the Liberal Democrats revealed this past week that almost one in four adults is planning not to turn on their heating over the winter because of the potential cost. That figure rises to more than one in four when they focused on adults with children under the age of 18. Similar research carried out by Savanta discovered that more than two thirds of us will be limiting our use of heating.

What do we need from our new PM?

What we need is for the new Prime Minister to introduce laws to support families and businesses as soon as they take office this week. They could fund it by reversing the Conservatives’ planned tax cuts for big banks, who are seeing their profits grow with rising interest rates.

They could cancel the government’s cut to the bank surcharge that is due to take effect in April and by restoring the bank levy to 2015 levels. That would raise £10.6 billion over the next four years. The windfall tax could be strengthened to raise £20 billion and there is a multi-billion increase to the Exchequer coming from inflationary increases in prices and VAT.

There are so many options. But only for a government that is willing to take them.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary in print, on air or online.

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