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Truss and Treasury secretary fail to reassure markets as bond yield rise, stock market


Truss and Philp fail to reassure markets

The prime minister, Liz Truss, and the Treasury’s no 2, Chris Philp, have both done a round of broadcast interviews this morning – but their comments appear to have done little to reassure markets.

Government bond yields are rising again, the stock market has tumbled and the pound is sliding. Sterling is now worth $1.0789, a 0.9% drop on the day.

The FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 indices have lost 1.8% and 2.3% respectively this morning. Germany’s Dax has dropped 1.9%, France’s CAC has slid 1.8% and Italy’s FTSE MiB fell 1.1%.

Despite a barrage of criticism, from the International Monetary Trust and the former Bank of England governor Mark Carney, the government is refusing to perform a U-turn on the package of £45bn of unfunded tax cuts aimed at the wealthy it announced on Friday. There is also no sign at the moment that the fiscal policy statement planned for 23 November could be brought forward.

Truss said this morning: “I have to do what I believe is right for the country and what is going to help move our country forward.”

Philp sidestepped a question about the current crisis, saying: “There was a crisis with the energy situation and we’ve addressed that and if any other challenges arise then the government will deal with it where it’s in our power or the independent central bank if it’s in their power.”

British Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng visit Berkeley Modular, in Northfleet, Kent, on 23 September.
British Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng visit Berkeley Modular, in Northfleet, Kent, on 23 September. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Liz Truss said this morning that fracking will only be allowed to take place where a community has consented, and the government is working on the “detailed issues” about how support can be assessed.

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She told BBC Radio Lancashire, which broadcasts in the region where fracking for shale gas was halted after earth tremors:

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It’s very important for me as prime minister that any fracking has local community consent.

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This month, her government controversially lifted a moratorium on fracking in England that had been in place since 2019, arguing that strengthening energy supply was an “absolute priority”. However, many experts, communities and MPs are strongly opposed to fracking.

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Fracking must have community consent”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Thu 29 Sep 2022 10.29 BST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Thu 29 Sep 2022 07.46 BST”},{“id”:”63355be48f08ef7e8107c7db”,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Britain’s financial watchdog has told insurers to help customers struggling to pay the premiums on their policies, which could leave them unprotected.

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The Financial Conduct Authority said it was writing to the bosses of insurance firms to to make sure their customers are protected from unnecessary products or add-ons and unfair penalties. Where poor practice is found, the FCA vowed to quickly intervene to protect customers from harm.

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The watchdog said firms can help customers in financial difficulty by:

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    n

  • Reassessing customers’ needs

  • n

  • Considering whether there are other products that better meet the customer’s needs

  • n

  • Providing clear information to consumers about the additional cost of premium finance

  • n

  • Working with customers to avoid the need to cancel necessary cover

  • n

  • Waiving fees associated with adjusting a customer’s policy in line with the reassessments

  • n

  • Considering whether cancellation fees should be removed for customers in financial difficulty

  • n

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Sheldon Mills, executive director of onsumers and competition at the FCA, said:

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n

Customers who are struggling with their finances should contact their providers as soon as possible. We encourage customers to continue to shop around to find the best deal.

n

Firms should not unfairly penalise them for any payment difficulties but instead work with them to find solutions.

n

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A fourth leak has been found on Nord Stream pipelines, Sweden’s coast guard says, the latest twist in Europe’s energy crisis.

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The coast guard discovered a fourth gas leak on the damaged Nord Stream pipelines earlier this week, a coast guard spokesperson told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

”Two of these four are in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone,” the spokesperson, Jenny Larsson, told the newspaper.

The two other holes are in the Danish exclusive economic zone, according to a translation of the report published by Reuters.

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You can read more on our Russia-Ukraine war live blog with Martin Belam here.

The European Union suspects sabotage was behind the gas leaks on the subsea Russian pipelines to Europe and has promised a “robust” response to any intentional disruption of its energy infrastructure.

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