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1. Sunak presides over ‘biggest fall in living standards on record’
Living standards will fall further this year than at any time since records began in 1956, it emerged on Wednesday, while the tax burden will hit its highest point since just after the Second World War.
Rishi Sunak attempted to see off Tory critics by announcing a reduction of 1p on the basic income tax rate and raising the thresholds at which people start paying National Insurance. Read the full story.
2. Roman Abramovich might be the key to peace, says Volodymyr Zelensky
The Ukrainian president personally appealed to Joe Biden not to sanction Roman Abramovich in the hope that the billionaire could act as an intermediary in peace talks with Russia, it was reported.
The US Department of the Treasury was set to announce the freezing of the Chelsea Football Club owner’s assets in tandem with the UK and EU earlier this month when the White House’s national security council abruptly shifted course. Read the full story.
3. Duke expresses ‘profound sorrow’ in rare acknowledgement of slavery
The Duke of Cambridge has expressed “profound sorrow” over the evils of slavery, saying: “It should never have happened.”
Speaking at a state dinner in Kingston, Jamaica, the Duke addressed the issue that has dogged him and the Duchess of Cambridge throughout their ongoing Caribbean tour. Read the full story.
4. Energy bills set to soar again as living crisis hits millions
Energy bills are to rise by another £800 this autumn as the price cap increases again and a living standards crisis hits millions of families, the UK’s fiscal watchdog has predicted.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said its analysis of wholesale oil and gas prices suggested bills would increase by another 40 per cent when Ofgem reviewed the price cap later this year after a planned 54 per cent rise next month. Read the full story.
5. Ash Barty would ‘never say never’ about return to tennis
Ash Barty has said she would “never say never” about returning to professional tennis following her shock retirement.
In response to a question about the prospect of making a comeback, the Australian said: “Well, you never say never, it’s a long way off.” Read the full story.