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The cost of living just got more costly for the people of Sefton , warns Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson

SEFTON Central MP and Shadow Minister for Business and Industry, Bill Esterson said:- "Today's decision by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee to raise interest rates to 1.75pc will have a significant impact on many of my constituents who are already having to make tough decisions as they counter this Conservative cost of living crisis. The reality is that the interest rate rise was expected and it's likely that more rises will follow. But what we have seen over the last couple of weeks as Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak fight it out to be Prime Minister, is just how out of touch they are with the British public and the challenges the country is facing right now. Both Truss and Sunak have been members of the Government which has presided over the economic crisis for the last 12 years and it is a big worry that neither of them have a plan to help people who face huge price rises and falling wages and pensions."

On Thursday the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) raised the rate of interest from 1.25% to 1.75% which is the biggest rate rise in 27 years in an attempt to combat inflation levels which is currently at 9% which is projected to be at 10% towards the end of the year. The MPC also announced that the United Kingdom is now projected to enter recession from the 4th quarter of this year with household income projected to fall sharply with consumption growth predicted to be negative.

Bill Esterson MP said:- "The Bank of England's forecasts show us how hard this crisis is hitting families, how much is left to come and how vulnerable 12 years of economic mismanagement by the Conservatives have left us. Not only is this the highest rate increase in 25 years, but inflation could hit 13% while real wages fall, pushing more and more families into financial difficulty. The Government must act fast if we are going to avoid 1 of the worst recessions since the 1990's. The Government should scrap tax breaks on oil and gas producers and provide more help to people who are struggling to pay their energy bills by cutting VAT. Businesses also need help right now and scrapping business rates would make a massive difference to many firms, especially smaller businesses."

Mr Esterson added:- "it's clear that the Conservative Party has lost control of the economy. They have presided over high inflation, high taxes and low economic growth and while Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are touring the country talking to Conservative Party members, they have nothing to offer millions of people struggling to make ends meet. During this farce of a leadership contest, the United Kingdom is devoid of Government. The answer to the cost of living crisis has to be a fresh start and a Labour Government on the side of ordinary people and businesses."

Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Graduation ceremony 2022

LIVERPOOL City Council are thrilled to announce the triumphant return of Liverpool City Region's Apprenticeship Graduation ceremony in 2022. The event is coming to you via:- Halton Council, Sound City, Be More, and the Liverpool City Region (with support from the European Social Fund). Taking place on Thursday, 15 September 2022, the event is free on a 1st come 1st served basis to anyone who has completed an apprenticeship in the last year (August 2021 to July 2022).

After such turbulent times of late, so many aspiring apprentices have shone through and proven how dedicated, hard working, and inspiring they really are. The event is unique as it shines a light on these specific individuals, proving yet again what the City of Liverpool is about at the core, and its heart. Spotlighting these graduates helps to show at 1st hand the achievements of the City Region's future stars, who's importance and relevance simply cannot be overlooked or understated.

They ARE the future, and it looks nothing, but bright! The event itself will be hosted by veteran Liverpool mainstays Sound City, and for 2022 will be taking place at the prestigious Anfield Football Stadium grounds. The graduates will be greeted by a drinks reception in the luxurious Chemistry Lounge with views overlooking the pitch. The main ceremony will then take place in Anfield's own Carlsberg Dugout accompanied by a buffet. To match the event (and rightly so!), the guest speaker for this year will be legendary English footballer Dion Dublin. Following his time with various premiership sides including Manchester United, Aston Villa, and a few England caps, Dion moved into the entertainment business.

Unbeknownst to many he's also an established percussionist, and even invented his own instrument:- 'The Dube.' He has performed with this on many occasions, having also accompanied the likes of Ocean Colour Scene. The instrument has also been endorsed by legendary Jazz Saxophonist Courtney Pine, it has been seen at London Jazz Festival, and also used by other bands including Feeder and The Maccabees. Dion is now firmly routed in television, as a daytime regular presenter for BBC One's:- 'Homes Under the Hammer,' plus a regular panelist for BBC Sport via Football Focus and Match of the Day. Sometimes he also commentates on live FA cup matches. Oh, and let's not forget he finished in 4th place for Celebrity Masterchef 2021!

About the event Dion said:- "I'm honoured to be a part of the Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Graduation taking place in September. It is so important to celebrate the amazing achievements of graduates from across the Liverpool City Region and I can't think of a better way to do this than with a special evening of awards. Apprenticeships offer incredible opportunities to people who want to pursue a new career, allowing individuals to develop skills and gain valuable experience in the workplace to set them up for success. I'm inspired by the resilience and determination of graduates to succeed in their training especially after the uncertainty of the past 2 years. It is a great accomplishment and 1 that deserves to be celebrated in the company of friends and family. The Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Graduation will be an uplifting evening which will bring people together and I look forward to joining the graduates on the night to commend their successes and wish them luck in their next career steps!"

Alongside this, Liverpool's Metro Mayor- Steve Rotheram will be attending to show his support, and help celebrate the City's successful apprentices. The event will help shine a spotlight alongside showcasing some of the Liverpool City Region's most skilled new professionals to North West based businesses, and future employers. All organisations involved are ecstatic to welcome everyone who wishes to attend this year, and following previous outings this has the promise for an incredible evening. The apprenticeship support by Be More aims to raise the profile, and grow the number of apprenticeships throughout the Liverpool City Region. Providing FREE impartial information, advice and guidance about apprenticeships and traineeships, whilst delivering promotional events and activities.

For more information go to:- Be-More.Info. For graduates to register for tickets and express interest on the event, apply online at:-

Government to consider further relief for energy intensive industries

HIGH electricity using businesses like steel and paper mills could see further relief under new proposals to help subsidise their electricity costs. The UK Government is consulting on the option to increase the level of exemption for certain environmental and policy costs from 85% of costs up to 100%. This reflects higher UK industrial electricity prices than those of other countries including in Europe, which could hamper investment, competition and commercial viability for hundreds of businesses in industries including:- steel, paper, glass, ceramics, and cement, and risk them relocating from the UK. The proposal would help around 300 businesses supporting 60,000 jobs in the UK's industrial heartlands. Looking at ways to reduce the cost of doing business for key industries would help secure the future of domestic manufacturing and maintain a competitive business environment in the UK, ensuring economic growth and protecting thousands of jobs across the country. The Energy Intensive Industries Exemption Scheme provides businesses with relief for the costs of renewable levies, including Contracts for Difference, the Renewable Obligation and Feed in Tariffs, in their energy bills.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:- "British manufacturers are the lifeblood of our economy and central to our plans to overcome this period of economic uncertainty. With global energy prices at record highs, it is essential we explore what more we can do to deliver a competitive future for those strategic industries so we can cut production costs and protect jobs across the UK."

Director General of UK Steel Gareth Stace said:- "The publication of this consultation is a significant step forward in delivering competitive electricity prices for the UK steel sector and should provide some much-needed relief in the face of extremely challenging circumstances at the current time. While there remain difficulties, this announcement demonstrates that UK Government understands the challenges of British industry and continues to support steelmakers and steel communities across the country."

This is a consultation on a targeted support scheme for energy intensive industries, as announced in the British Energy Security Strategy. Launching this consultation now provides the future Government with the option to introduce this scheme given current high electricity prices. The Government has provided more than £2 billion to support businesses in energy intensive sectors with the price of electricity bills since 2013. The launch of the consultation follows the extension of the separate but similar Energy Intensive Industries Compensation Scheme for a further 3 years and a more than doubling of its budget. The compensation scheme provides businesses with relief for the costs of the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and Carbon Price Support mechanism in their electricity bills.

Government intervention needed to curb the workforce crisis in social care

CARE England, the largest and most diverse representative body for independent providers of Adult Social Care in England, is calling for Government intervention to help remedy the agency staff crisis in the sector and to address wider workforce pressures.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:- "The adult social care sector is facing what the Health and Social Care Committee described as:- 'the greatest workforce crisis in [its] history.' Vacancies in the sector have increased by 52% (55,000) over the last twelve months, necessitating a costly and increasingly unsustainable reliance on agency staff. The use of agency staff has been a bandage over more deep-routed recruitment and retention issues, which now, expectedly, are unravelling. The results of our recent survey demonstrate the severity of these issues, with the usage and cost of agency staff increasing dramatically over the last year. This is not only affecting the quality and continuity of care but compounding pressures on the NHS. Without central intervention, these issues will only worsen over the coming months. Whilst we appreciate the DHSC and wider Government departments' plans to aid providers' ability to recruit and retain staff, we remain concerned about the lack of a joined up, strategic approach. The current measures in place are wholly insufficient. For example, the £500m being generated via the Health and Social Care Levy for the workforce over the next 3 years only equates to 5.7p per hour for each sector employee; this does not begin to touch the sides of such vast workforce pressures."

Care England's Agency Fee Survey unveiled the extent to which the Covid19 Pandemic has exacerbated the reliance on agency staff, reaching a point of unsustainability for the sector. The survey found that:-

78% of respondents said they are using more/significantly more agency staff compared to April 2021, with 88% saying it was more/significantly more challenging to book them.

86% of respondents said the costs of agency staff have increased since April 2021, 74% said they had to contact multiple agencies to source agency staff and 77% said it became more difficult to book them. There was a theme of poor quality, less experienced and inappropriately trained staff, with 73% of respondents reporting that agency staff were less reliable.

Agency rates were significantly greater than carer (£19.57 vs £9.90) and nurse (£27.56 vs £19.49) employee hourly rates.

Martin Green continues:- "There is a rich pool of individuals both internationally and domestically that have the potential to bolster the workforce and reduce reliance on agency staff. Agency is a short term solution which has now snowballed into a long term fix for adult social care providers. This is not sustainable. We need a root and branch reform of how individuals enter and progress through roles within the sector. Last week, Care England echoed the call of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, asking for equal pay rates between domestic and overseas staff and issuing a plan for overseas recruitment in line with the code of practice on global staff shortages, and for an additional £7 billion per year for social care. We stand by this call to action, but this must come as part of a wider review which forms part of a fully funded 10 year workforce plan."


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