| 28 October 2021, Thursday |

Conservative conference: Rishi Sunak to extend job support schemes

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak will pledge $677 million to renew job support programmes during his speech at the Conservative Party conference on Monday.

Sunak will promise to “double down” on help for the jobs market after Covid, as he extends several schemes set up during the pandemic.

He will also commit to reshape the economy around technology and scientific innovation.

The speech comes amid pressure on the government over living standards.

Rising food and energy prices, alongside cuts to universal credit benefits, have sparked warnings of a squeeze on incomes this autumn.

The military is also due to begin driving fuel to petrol stations on Monday, amid continuing supply chain issues impacting several sectors.

Ahead of his first in-person conference address to Tory members as chancellor, Sunak praised the UK’s economic recovery but warned the “job is not done yet”.

“At the start of this crisis I made a promise to do whatever it takes, and I’m ready to double down on that promise now as we come out of this crisis,” he said.

He will also promise to make the UK the “the most exciting place on the planet” through better infrastructure and improved skills.

His speech will come on the second day of conference, known as Business Day, when the party seeks to showcase its commercial credentials and boost ties with industry.

Rishi Sunak turned up here not exactly in the traditional uniform of a chancellor of the exchequer.

Appointed just weeks before the first Covid lockdown, he was almost immediately signing off an unprecedented splurge of public spending.

And all this as energy bills go up for many, there are bottlenecks getting supplies to shops and plenty of us have had to queue for petrol.