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In this week’s newsletter:

  • What is the accelerated Fiscal Plan an indication of?
  • Why youngsters engaging in social media has long-term harm?
  • Ed Birkett’s piece in the Conservative Home
  • Onward’s upcoming event about pride and community with the EFL

Better earlier than never. The Medium-Term Fiscal Plan has been brought forward to October 31, alongside an OBR forecast. The plan is expected to set out a debt cutting strategy, which will be vital to market reassurance. The earlier announcement now ensures that the Monetary Policy Committee’s revised interest rate decision on November 3rd can more accurately reflect the current state of government finances. Mel Stride, Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee says this will be “crucial to millions of mortgage holders.”

Don’t call it a windfall tax. The Government has belatedly decided to take action on the unexpected profits that renewable producers are making in the wake of  Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This follows the EU plan for non-gas generators to pay member states their ‘excess profits’ beyond €180MWh. Onward’s predictions on how much this tax could help out household bills were featured in The Times.

How to grow. The PM’s party conference speech introduced “the anti-growth coalition” whose membership covers a vast expanse of institutions, organisations and individuals. The Financial Times Editorial Board last week separated arguments against growth from those surrounding the best way to achieve it. They mention the importance of delivering growth that is tangible for voters, as much of Onward’s research has called for, in the absence of which the Government could be served a heavyweight electoral penalty.

Rising inactivity. New ONS data shows that more than one in five adults (21.7%) are now economically inactive. This increase in inactivity is being driven by a large rise in those reporting to be long-term sick, up 170,000 in a single quarter to its highest level since 1992 (2.49 million). This raises important questions for the working age welfare system, especially given a large share of those signed off work suffer from psychological conditions.

Parental controls. A new study for Ofcom found that two-thirds of 8-12 year-olds are getting help from parents to join social media sites with a minimum age of 13, exposing the children to dangerous content unsuitable for their age range. The study follows a recent report by Onward which explores the relationship between poor mental health and social media use among children, and which calls for mandatory age checks when joining these platforms.

News and media

Rebuilding the Wall. The BBC referred to our report Another Brick in the Wall when discussing waning Tory strongholds in Southern England. 

Cap the gap. The Sunday Times and the i Newspaper referred to Onward’s modelling of how much a revenue cap on renewable energy producers could raise.

Absence of scrutiny. Onward’s Head of Energy and Climate, Ed Birkett, addresses the need for MPs to scrutinise new energy deals in Conservative Home

Upcoming events

Football plays a central role in forging local pride but many smaller clubs are struggling. What can we do to protect them for future generations? Join our next event with the English Football League to discuss.

With Jason Stockwood, Sarah Britcliffe MP, Tracey Crouch MP, Tom Greatrex and Rick Parry.
Sign up here.

EVENT GRAPHICS 20 10 21 29 - Growth, Growth and Growth: Onward Newsletter

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