The default view: The recession warning reveals the harsh realities facing the next Tory leader

    (Christian Adams)

(Christian Adams)

Amid projections of higher inflation and a recession that could last more than a year, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has made one thing clear: Whoever wins the Conservative leadership election will have to provide more support to households.

And as Paul Johnson, director of the respected think tank points out, that package may not be small. Energy prices are set to be far higher than we thought even a few months ago, as dual fuel bills approach £4,000 next year.

At the same time, inflation means that the government will face great pressure to give more money to our public services and public wages.

Greater support to prevent collapsing living standards will also be a growing political imperative. With a general election no more than two and a half years away and a long recession forecast, the next prime minister will not want to travel to the country with a record of falling incomes and a shrinking economy.

Water is so precious

It is dry. Walk through your local park and you’ll likely see straw and dust where grass used to grow. Yes, it’s August, but this isn’t a typical London summer.

The Environment Agency reports that England has had just 10 per cent of its long-term average rainfall for July, while the east and south-east have recorded four per cent. A snake ban for the capital is not yet in place, but by next week Hampshire, Sussex and Kent will all face one.

Water companies have advised residents to report their neighbors if they break the rules. The tools should first look at themselves. Even laying the drains of our rivers to one side, the sheer amount of water lost through leakage boggles the mind. Just yesterday, a street was flooded in Kilburn, north London, as a result of a burst water main.

There are solutions to our water crisis. Both to use (and waste) less but also to find new sources. But Thames Water’s desalination plant in Beckton, east London, which was built to deliver up to 100 million liters of water a day in dry weather, is currently out of service.

At the same time, in what sounds like a dystopian development, the source of the Thames has shifted five miles eastward as the river bed that marks its official start has dried up.

As our climate changes, extreme weather conditions such as drought will be more common. We must preserve what we have and find new, sustainable water sources.

A new season starts

Welcome back to the Premier League. We can hardly complain about a summer without football after the Lionesses produced one of the greatest moments in our country’s sporting history.

And while Crystal Palace v Arsenal at Selhurst Park tonight may not be England v Germany at Wembley, what better way to start the season than a London derby?

Can Mikel Arteta’s men take the next step? Will the title race be just another Liverpool-Man City two-horse race? And what will be the impact of the small matter of a men’s World Cup halfway through the season? There’s only one way to find out.

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