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Bold and practical ideas for the centre right

In this week's newsletter:

  • The latest news on English devolution
  • How high will inflation reach?
  • The next Prime Minister’s in-tray

East is East. The East Midlands is getting a new metro-mayor, with access to a £1.2 billion investment pot and powers over skills, transport, and housing. The new County Combined Authority is the first of its kind, bringing together two large rural county councils with two urban city councils. But to come into force it needs the Levelling Up Bill to pass the Commons, placing pressure on the new Prime Minister to keep up legislative momentum. Coming swiftly after the signing of a deal for York and North Yorkshire this is a real step forward for giving back control.

On the right track. This week saw the end of the temporary German rail cap of €9 a month, designed to curb inflation and boost public transport use. Around 30 million people participated, more than a third of the population, and rail use almost doubled compared to 2019 levels. A similar programme is launching in Spain on Sept 1st, while in the UK Grant Shapps has floated a national cap for buses and Andy Burnham has introduced one in Greater Manchester. Public transport networks are still struggling to recover post-pandemic - fare caps are turning out to be a popular tool to revive them.

That 70s Show. Goldman Sachs has warned that, unless the next Prime Minister takes decisive steps to control spiralling prices, inflation could rise to an eye watering 22% - the highest level since 1975. The warnings pile yet more pressure on the two Conservative leadership contenders to come up with a comprehensive plan to present to the public in their emergency budget on 21 September. Onward will be setting out our proposals to deal with the crisis in the near future, so stay tuned.

Such thing as society. In his latest op-ed for Times Red Box, Danny Kruger MP urged the next Prime Minister to recognise the vital role that civil society can play in solving many social problems. On a local level, Onward saw this for ourselves on our recent Levelling Up in Practice visit to South Tyneside. We recommended a ‘whole-community’ approach to tackling health and social problems to take the strain off of public services.

News and media

Crisis stations. Ed Birkett writes for City AM about why net zero is the route out of the energy crisis.

Think tank land. Politico mentions Onward’s research Family Fortunes in a piece about think tanks and the Conservative leadership election.

Gas-lighting net zero. The Financial Times cites Onward’s research Renewed Importance.

UK ‘unicorns’. Our report Rocket Science is mentioned in the Daily Express.

Upcoming events

What are the immediate political and economic challenges confronting the new Prime Minister? How might they address these? This joint event, organised by Onward, UK in a Changing Europe and Resolution Foundation will address these questions and consider what the future might hold for UK politics and the economy. Sign up here.


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