Expensive British royal change during the financial crisis

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TEHRAN — The transition to a new king following the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is shaping up to be a costly affair. Some reports have even put the expenditure of the change at £6 billion. In any case, it comes during one of the worst economic crises facing Britons in modern history.

Following the death of the British head of state, the public faces many costs that must be incurred to meet the necessary changes of a new monarch. Queen Elizabeth’s record-breaking 70-year reign has seen her portrait, signature or code on many things including banknotes, coins, stamps, letterboxes, passports, government monuments and buildings.

According to royal protocol, they must all be changed in what appears to be a long and expensive process. The monarchy is already criticized for being disconnected from the public and absorbing public finances.

The Bank of England is struggling to control rising inflation which currently stands at 10.1%, the worst in the group of G7 nations and one of the worst in Europe. The country faces growing risks of falling into recession, with economists warning it could happen as early as the fourth quarter of this year. Similarly, the British pound has fallen in recent months, hitting record highs against the dollar last week. Audiences are now heading into a winter of pain and uncertainty.

The financial crisis facing the British is fueled by record energy bills, which have soared out of control following the conflict in Ukraine. The World Energy Council, a not-for-profit industry network, has warned that Britons must show ‘radical generosity’ this winter to avoid the loss of life from soaring gas and electricity bills. electricity.

Amid growing uncertainty and economic hardship facing tens of millions of people, the country has two new leaders under increasing pressure. New Prime Minister Liz Truss and new King Charles will seek to calm public opinion. The couple met on Friday, followed by a meeting between King Charles and the cabinet on Saturday.

Recent poll results, described by opposition parties as a ‘national scandal’, have found that one in four British adults will not turn on the heating at all this winter due to soaring fuel prices. ‘energy ; and a further 70% say they will turn on their heating less.

“Families and pensioners across the country are making heartbreaking decisions because the government has failed to save them,” said Liberal Democrat Cabinet Office spokeswoman Christine Jardine.
“It is a national scandal that parents have to choose between heating their homes and feeding their children,” the spokesperson said.
Following a successful campaign by activists who called on consumers to boycott paying their energy bills altogether, Truss has signed a £100billion plan which she says will help the public pay their bills. energy bills. The package was the new Prime Minister’s first major policy decision and came very shortly before the 96-year-old Queen died.
The plan will see the government freeze energy bills at an average of £2,500 a year for two years from October 1.
This means that everyone’s energy bills will be capped equally; both the poorest and the super-rich, small businesses or corporations bringing in billions have been denounced.

The other issue is that the current price cap stands at £2,000 with a 54% increase since spring, which many people are already unable to afford. So setting the cap at £2,500 is hardly an effective freeze to help consumers.

Since Truss unveiled the huge energy package last week, she has come under pressure from charities, unions, opposition parties and think tanks who say it will do very little to help the poor .

Becca Lyon, head of child poverty at Save the Children, warned that the Prime Minister’s plan would not prevent many families from reaching crisis point this winter. She says “how is it possible that multi-millionaires receive the same support as the most vulnerable families? If there is enough money to pay the energy bills of the rich and not ask the energy giants to pay a penny more, surely there should be enough money to ensure that no family have to choose between heating and eating this winter.
James Taylor, director of strategy at disability charity Scope, said that “people with disabilities often rely on higher energy consumption. It is important to remember that this cap does not limit what you pay. For many disabled households, their bills are still skyrocketing.
The End Fuel Poverty Coalition said that “while many households will breathe a sigh of relief, the Prime Minister has given no details on further support for the millions of households who will remain in fuel poverty this winter”.
Imran Hussain, director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, warned it was a “big deal with a big hole”. He says: “We desperately need more targeted support through benefits for low earners and those who have lost their jobs or cannot work due to disability, illness or caring responsibilities. .

Even with a freeze, energy bills will still be double what they were a year ago, the price of other essentials continues to soar and the real value of benefits has been reduced.

Max Mosley, an economist at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research think tank, said the prime minister’s energy plan is ‘unnecessarily inefficient and costly. Its untargeted nature renders the currently unfunded proposal unnecessary, which will put pressure on public finances, and for an unknown duration. There are better options, including a variable price cap that would have further reduced bills for the poorest and might even have been cost-effective. »
In an assessment, the Resolution Foundation, another think tank, said the plan will not prevent people from facing a very harsh winter. Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, said: ‘It’s not well targeted at low and middle income people, it comes at a high price.
Liz Truss is asking future taxpayers to pay a large and highly uncertain bill on behalf of today’s energy bill payers, but declined to specify the cost of this huge package. This could end up overtaking bank bailouts at the height of the financial crisis.
Union leaders have also criticized the government’s energy plan with Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, saying that “the prime minister is making the wrong people pay.” It should have imposed a much larger windfall tax on profiteering oil and gas giants.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “It is frankly remarkable that the Prime Minister is asking workers to pay for the huge profits of the energy companies… the reason why we are now held hostage by an overreliance on electricity. non-domestic energy is that a conservative government has privatized our energy.

Andy Prendergast, the national leader of the GMB union, said the failures of a Conservative energy party despite 12 years in power ‘means we are catching up in the race to defend ourselves against the global energy crisis “.

Scottish National Party leader at Westminster, Ian Blackford, said “after all this waiting it couldn’t be clearer, [the prime minister] expose it very brazenly. The Prime Minister’s plan means the public pays. She made the political choice to tax families rather than businesses, to put profit before people.

In the face of scathing criticism, the Government will use public money to pay for the ceremonial costs of the Queen’s state funeral followed by the King’s coronation, which will not be lost on a nation struggling with a cost crisis. life.

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