Good morning. In the House of Commons today MPs will debate a Labour motion about the national insurance increase, and the impact this will have on family finances. Later, in an unprecedented event, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, will address MPs sitting in the Commons chamber by video link, from the beseiged city of Kyiv where his life is at risk. (In the past, when distinguished foreign leaders have been invited to address MPs in parliament, they have done so in person at Westminster Hall, but the Zelenskiy invitation is a consequence of Covid opening up the advantages of virtual proceedings.)
The Ukraine war and the cost of living crisis are generally seen as separate issues, but a report today from the Resolution Foundation thinktank argues that they are closely entwined. It says the war could contribute to Britons suffering the biggest fall in real-terms disposable income for almost 50 years. It says:
The conflict in Ukraine is forecast to further push up energy prices and wider inflation (to over 8 per cent this Spring), causing typical household incomes across Britain to fall by 4 per cent in the coming financial year (2022-23), the sharpest fall since the mid-1970s, according to the Resolution Foundation’s annual Living Standards Outlook for 2022.
Here is the thinktank’s summary, here is the report in full and here is my colleague Richard Partington’s story on it.
Related: UK household incomes facing biggest decline since mid-70s, says thinktank
And here is the key graph.
Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, was doing the morning interview round this morning. He said the government would be speeding up the processing of visa applications for Ukrainians, after the Home Office revealed last night that just 300 visas have already been granted, he said the Ministry of Defence was offering to help with visa processing and he claimed the war would lead to the downfall of President Putin. I will summarise his interviews shortly.
Here is the agenda for the day.
9.30am: Boris Johnson chairs cabinet.
Late morning: Johnson meets the leaders of the Visegrad group (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) at No 10.
11.30am: Liz Truss, the foreign secretary takes questions in the Commons.
11.30am: Downing Street holds a a lobby briefing.
After 12.30pm: MPs begin debating a Labour motion calling for the national insurance increase coming into force next month to be cancelled.
2.30pm: Sajid Javid, the health secretary, gives a speech on healthcare reform.
5pm: Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the Ukrainain president, addresses a session of the House of Commons by video.
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