Good morning. Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, will face the Commons Treasury committee this afternoon where he will take questions on last week’s spring statement, which has been widely criticised by people from all sides of the politial spectrum. He will probably also be asked about energy policy, and a report in the Financial Times this morning saying that the government’s energy security strategy is being further delayed because Sunak is reluctant to sign off on a new spending splurge. In its story the FT reports:
Boris Johnson’s promised energy security strategy has been delayed again, as chancellor Rishi Sunak continues to hold out against big new spending commitments.
Sunak, under fierce pressure to do more to help families through the cost of living crisis, has told colleagues he wants to turn off the spending taps and that every “marginal pound” should go towards tax cuts.
His tough stance has put the brakes on the energy strategy, which was originally due for publication last week and then again at the start of this week.
The energy security strategy was due to be published this week, but the FT says it is not expected until a week today at the earliest. The Treasury has not denied the FT story, with a Treasury source telling PA Media: “Policy is still being decided on.”
Here is the agenda for the day.
9am: Keir Starmer hosts his “Call Keir” LBC phone-in.
9.30am: The Department for Education holds a press briefing on the education white paper.
11.30am: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.
11.35am: Richard Hughes, chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility, and his senior colleagues give evidence to the Commons Treasury committee about the spring statement.
2.30pm: Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, takes questions in the Commons.
2.40pm: Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, gives evidence to the Commons Treasury committee about the spring statement.
4pm: Amanda Pritchard, the NHS England chief executive, and Sir Chris Wormald, permanent secretary at the Department for Health and Social Care, give evidence to the Commons public accounts committee about the vaccine rollout.
4.30pm: Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland secretary, gives evidence to the Commons Northern Ireland affairs committee.
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