Millions of Britons are in financial distress. The government is unable to protect the most vulnerable.

British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has said he will not be able to increase welfare benefits this year to protect the most vulnerable from the rising cost of living crisis, as the government’s outdated IT system will not do so.
And “Bloomberg” news agency indicated that millions of retirees and families of unemployed people are facing financial hardship after raising their social welfare benefits last April to just 3.1 percent, which is lower than the current 7 percent inflation rate expected. It will reach a double-digit level later this year.
“IT problems have proven insurmountable,” Sunak added in an interview with Bloomberg TV yesterday, adding: “The workings of our social welfare system are technically complex.”
“It is not necessarily possible to increase benefits for everyone, so many systems have been set up that it can only be done once a year, and the decision was made a long time ago,” he added.
Sunak acknowledged that the blame on technology “looks like an excuse”, but insisted it was “to some extent limited, due to the functioning of the social welfare system”.
This comes at a time when a British financial official has warned that the Bank of England may be forced to raise interest rates above investors’ expectations, despite the increased risks of deflation, partly because the bank has lost most of its capacity to control inflation.
Karen Ward, a former adviser to the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “Traditional transmission mechanisms, where higher interest rates limit price increases, have been weakened by the huge increase in savings during the pandemic and the rush for low mortgage rates for long periods.”
“As a result, consumer spending is likely to remain more resilient and inflation is likely to continue longer than the Bank of England predicts,” added Ward, who is currently chief European market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. Note that “the household sector has become less sensitive to interest rates than ever before.”
Ward’s warnings came the same week that former Bank of England officials Adam Posen, Charles Goodhart and Kristen Forbes warned that the bank would have to increase borrowing costs, even as the economy shrank unexpectedly in March.
Economic data published on Thursday showed that the British economy shrank during last March, contrary to expectations, with consumer spending shrinking due to the rise in the cost of living.
The UK Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product (GDP) had shrunk by 0.1 per cent during last March compared to the previous month, which was completely stable. This means that the UK economy grew by 0.8 per cent during the first three months of this year, while analysts surveyed by the “Bloomberg” news agency expected a 1 per cent growth rate.
While the quarterly growth rate has returned to its pre-coronavirus levels, it will almost certainly be the highest point of the year, due to the high inflation rate since the 1980s, which means the UK economy will quickly lose its momentum, with the possibility of to enter a phase stagnation.
During last March, the services and manufacturing sectors recorded a contraction of 0.2 percent as services to consumers declined by 1.8 percent.
Analysts expect Britain’s economy to shrink in the second quarter of this year, after households were hit by high energy prices and tax increases last April.
On the other hand, the CEO of the British retailer Tesco earned 4.7 million pounds ($ 5.7 million) last year after helping the largest grocery store chain, and Britain’s largest private employer, during the Covid-19 to manage pandemic.
Most of the massive amount Ken Kenphy received was related to performance bonuses to help Tesco manage severe staff shortages, panic purchases and major disruptions in supply chains due to the increase in Covid infections in Britain. Murphy’s base salary was £ 1.52 million for the year ending February.
Details of Murphy’s bonus, which joined Tesco in October 2020, were announced yesterday morning in the company’s special annual report.
The stimulus news comes as Britain’s food stores face the worst food inflation in decades, as well as pressure to raise wages for workers facing a living crisis.
In addition, the British government on Thursday refused to release information requested by the Labor Party regarding the appointment of Yevgeny Lebedev, a Russian-born businessman, in the House of Lords in Parliament in 2020, stressing “the need for national to protect safety. “
Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine has raised questions about the appointment of Yevgeny Lebedev, son of Alexander Lebedev, a Russian billionaire and former KGB agent, to the title of Lord for Life in the Council in 2020.
And the Sunday Times newspaper reported last March that Boris Johnson, Lebedev’s friend since 2008, had ignored concerns expressed by the foreign intelligence service.
Yevgeny Lebedev, who has British citizenship, in turn emphasized that he did not pose a threat to the security of the United Kingdom, and emphasized the coverage of the Russian military intervention by his evening newspaper, “The Evening Standard”, which he mentioned. on Russian President Vladimir Putin last week to withdraw his powers.
In a statement, Secretary of State Michael Ellis stressed the security requirements and the importance of maintaining “integrity” in such appointments, in order to justify the refusal of the requested information.
And Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labor Party, was seen in this “cover-up” and condemned the government’s release of documents that were only “extensively processed” without any information.
According to “Frans”, the government’s refusal to publish the information coincided with the publication of an article in the “New York Times” indicating that one of the largest donors to the Conservative Party was suspected of hundreds of thousands of pounds to the political formation of a Russian account.
The American newspaper said: “A donation of more than $ 630,000 was made in early 2018 in the name of Ehud Sheleg,” a wealthy art dealer in London, who was later appointed treasurer of the Conservative Party.
The New York Times added that “the documents indicate that the money came from the Russian account of Sergei Kopetov, Sheleg’s father-in-law who was a member of the previous pro-Russian government in Ukraine.”
Schleig’s lawyer, Thomas Rudkin, confirmed to the newspaper that the millions of dollars his client and wife received were “completely separate” from the donation to the party.
In response to a question in this regard, Boris Johnson confirmed that all donations to the Conservative Party are “normally registered”, adding: “If you donate to a political party in this country, it must be from the United Kingdom. “
Donations to political parties are limited to £ 500 for foreign nationals who cannot vote in the UK.

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