FirstFT: UK plans to pay energy suppliers to protect consumers from high bills

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The UK is considering a sweeping intervention in the electricity market, under which the state would make payments to energy suppliers when wholesale gas prices rise sharply in a bid to soften the blow to consumers.

The proposal, which is being promoted by energy companies, was described by government insiders as “plausible” and “logical”, but they admitted there were downsides to such a move.

Under the initiative, energy suppliers would receive payments from the government when wholesale gas prices exceed a certain threshold to avoid passing the increase on to consumers.

Some suppliers said the proposal – known as a temporary price stabilization mechanism – could be self-financing over several years, as energy companies would have to return the money to the government when wholesale prices trade below the level. agreed.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak admitted it could put the taxpayer at significant risk if wholesale prices remain high, but he discussed ways to ease a cost-of-living crisis with Boris Johnson, officials said.

1. Intelsat chief set to bid a golden farewell to $4 million Stephen Spengler, the outgoing chief executive of Intelsat, will earn a minimum of $4 million in cash and stock when he retires after one of the world’s largest fixed satellite operators emerged from protection against Chapter 11 bankruptcy this year.

2. US airlines warn 5G rollout will cause ‘chaos’ The impending rollout of high-speed 5G telecommunications services could lead to flights across the United States, an industry lobby group for the largest US airlines warned yesterday, as it urged government agencies to intervene to avoid “chaos” for passengers and “incalculable” disruptions to supply chains. .

3. Russia’s sanctions protection weakens Western threats Moscow’s efforts to reduce its dependence on the global financial system, which investors have dubbed the “Fortress Russia” strategy, could make Western sanctions threats a less effective deterrent against an attack on Russia. ‘Ukraine. The EU’s appetite for Russian gas has also made any restrictions on energy exports potentially harmful.

4. UK inflation set to hit 30-year high December inflation is expected to hit a 30-year high tomorrow as upward cost pressures spread across the economy. Economists polled by Reuters expect inflation to hit 5.2%, the highest since the early 1990s and up from a peak of 5.1% in November, before peaking in April.

5. Tory MPs relay voter outrage over No 10 parties Tory MPs reported a furious backlash from voters over the Downing Street party scandal yesterday, as a poll suggested a significant number of party activists thought Boris Johnson should quit. Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s former consigliere turned potential foe, has rocked Westminster with a steady drop of revelations.

Summary of coronavirus

  • In the world poorest countries will have to repay around $35 billion to lenders in 2022, according to the World Bank, after many international relief efforts pushed back and turned to capital markets to fund pandemic responses.

  • Novak Djokovic could also be banned from playing at Roland Garros, the government has said, after Australia canceled his visa due to his vaccination status.

  • The general manager of Modern said a combined booster for Covid-19 and influenza could be available “in some countries” towards the end of 2023.

  • Despite the rapid spread of infections, Pakistan is resisting a lockdown as the government seeks to avoid deepening an economic crisis.

The day ahead

Paris fashion week The annual fashion extravaganza returns to the catwalks after two years of hybrid virtual events, starting with menswear. (AFP)

business profits BNY Mellon, Goldman Sachs and Charles Schwab report fourth quarter results. UK e-commerce group The Hut Group releases a trade statement.

North Flow 2 German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrives in Russia a day after visiting Ukraine, after indicating that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which has been completed but has not yet been certified, will not go from l forward if Russia invades its western neighbor.

Economic data The latest Zew survey, which assesses the six-month economic outlook of German investors and analysts, is out. The UK releases its latest labor market statistics and monthly insolvency data, while OPEC releases a monthly oil market report. (Zew, FT)

What else we read

Has Sony achieved its entertainment ambitions? For years, Sony has created or purchased the instruments to achieve its goal of becoming the most integrated entertainment company in the world. Critics argued that the $157 billion symbol of Japanese corporations could never quite get the orchestra playing in harmony. Now that seems to be changing.

The whirlwind tour of Horta-Osório On Sunday afternoon, António Horta-Osório was told that the Credit Suisse board he had chaired for just over eight months was no longer supporting him after serial breaches of the Covid-19 quarantine. For the Portuguese banker, hired to redress the scandal of the Swiss lender, it is an ignoble end to his short term.

Sloane Arrangers Forty years ago, Ann Barr and Peter York wrote The Official Sloane Ranger Manual, a guide to the styles and positions of a particular subset of Britain’s upper middle classes – the ‘typical Briton’ recognizable by their dress codes and patterns of speech. What changed ? Is Sloane’s taste a fashion-defying hidden enclave, or has it gone the way of everything else in the age of Instagram?

A bus approaches Sloane Square in Chelsea, the center of London's shopping and dining world for a

A bus approaches Sloane Square in Chelsea, the center of London’s shopping and dining world for a ‘typical Brit’ 40 years ago ©Getty Images

What happened to the Lost Woods of London? Although it is hard to imagine today, until the end of the 18th century, vast forests of oak trees stretched for seven miles across what is now the southern suburbs of London. What remains is the nearest ancient forest to central London.

Why blaming your staff publicly is always a low blow Fostering a culture of guilt makes it harder for teams to learn from their mistakes, writes Andrew Hill. Public staff shaming is an abuse of authority and undermines the shameful by exposing their unwillingness to take responsibility for the tasks they have delegated.

What to do in Tokyo

Kathy Matsui is one of Asia’s top financial leaders, and her groundbreaking work on gender equality has helped shape Japanese government policy. She shares her guide to Tokyo, highlighting leading women in art, design and food.

Kathy Matsui at teamLab in Tokyo

Kathy Matsui at teamLab in Tokyo © Yasuyuki Takagi

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