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Emma Raducanu suffers a loss to Katerina Siniakova in the second round in Miami

The British number one ran out of steam but Heather Watson pulled off a big win over Elina Svitolina. (Author: Gardener)

Emma RaducanuEmma Raducanu lost her last four games in a disappointing second-round loss to Katerina Siniakova at the Miami Open. The British number one has developed a habit of being dragged into long games in 2022 and she failed to prevail against world no. 53, falling 3-6 6-4 7-5. Raducanu got off to a fast start again and Siniakova appeared to be struggling with the heat and humidity, calling the manager after just five games. But the Czech bounced back 1-3 to win the second set. Raducanu appeared to have turned the tide in her favor as she took a 5-3 lead in the decider, but she ran out of steam in the end. Raducanu said: “It was a long match. Very long rallies. It was further evidence that the US Open champion has plenty of physical work ahead of her as she adjusts to life on the WTA Tour. While Raducanu was dejected, Heather Watson recorded her best win in the rankings in more than two years with a 4-6 6-3 7-6 (4) win over 20th-ranked Elina Svitolina. It's a good run for Watson, who recently dropped out of the top 100 and sees herself following in the footsteps of her compatriot Harriet Dart after also beating Svitolina at Indian Wells last week. Watson told Amazon Prime Video: "I love this tournament. I've been coming here for so long. "I'm really happy to be back in shape this year. I just ended up thinking that my fitness got me through this match. Elsewhere, Naomi Osaka claimed her first win over a top-20 player in a year, easily defeating three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-3. The former world number one is in the rankings dropped to 77th but played a strong match to meet Karolina Muchova in the third round, who is returning from a break through injury and upset Leylah Fernandez. Osaka said, "I'm definitely very happy with how this game went. I think she's beat me the last three games so it's really nice to turn that around and be able to do that in straight sets. Danielle Collins played her first completed match since reaching the Australian Open final, beating Anna Bondar of Hungary 6-3 3-6 6-4 while eighth-seeded Ons Jabeur Magda Linette 7-6 (1) 6 : 2 defeated. Meanwhile, former US Open champion Dominic Thiem has announced he will return to action at next week's Challenger tournament in Marbella after nine months with a wrist injury.

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Raducanu is eliminated in the second round of the Miami Open

Britain's Emma Raducanu suffers another early exit when she is beaten by Katerina Siniakova in the second round of the Miami Open. (Author: Gardener)

secondBritain's Emma Raducanu suffered another early exit when she was beaten by Katerina Siniakova in the second round of the Miami Open. The 19-year-old US Open champion has won just two of her seven games this season. Earlier, her compatriot Heather Watson celebrated her first win over a top-20 player since 2020 with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) win over Elina Svitolina. Watson saved a match point on her way to defeating the 20th-place Ukraine. It's the first time Watson has reached the third round in Miami in six years. I've been coming here for so long it feels like it's my home," Watson told Amazon Prime. She was nervous as she tried to finish the match. She started the stronger of the two and took a 4-1 lead while a tear-stained Siniakova took a medical time-out with what appeared to be a rib problem in the set, Raducanu raced to a break lead in the second set before the world No. 53 forced a deciding set. Raducanu left Again in the break lead early in the third set and had a chance to take a 3-0 lead before Siniakova rolled off three games in a row. Nevertheless, Raducanu countered and served up to make it 5-4, but a double fault gave the initiative to Siniakova back, the Czech, number one in women's doubles, was then able to capitalize on a visibly disappointed Raducanu to finish the win. Dropping out of the top 100, Watson has opted to miss Britain's Billie Jean King Cup tie with the Czech Republic in April to focus on her singles rankings. She played well against an out of line Svitolina and maintained her confidence after slipping a 4-2 lead in the opening set. She saved a match point when she served to lead the deciding set into a tie-break before reeling off three straight points to claim the win. "I'm really happy to be back in shape this year," added Watson. Watson next meets either Belinda Bencic or Marta Kostyuk, who is seeded at No. 22. Previously, Naomi Osaka had beaten Angelique Kerber in a clash between two former world number ones. Japan's Osaka needed just 60 minutes to defeat the No. 15 seed Germany 6-2, 6-3. The win is Osaka's first victory over a top-20 player since last year's Miami Open, when she defeated Elise Mertens in the fourth round. She meets Karolina Muchova next after the Czech defeated US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) in the second round. Danielle Collins was victorious in her first match since the Australian Open final where she finished second to Ashleigh Barty. Simona Halep retired from the tournament before her opening match with a hamstring injury. Spain's seventh Garbine Muguruza also retired on Thursday with a shoulder injury.

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Emma Raducanu suffers a loss to Katerina Siniakova in the second round in Miami

The British number one ran out of steam but Heather Watson pulled off a big win over Elina Svitolina. (Author: Gardener)

Emma RaducanuEmma Raducanu lost her last four games in a disappointing second-round loss to Katerina Siniakova at the Miami Open. The British number one has developed a habit of being dragged into long games in 2022 and she failed to prevail against world no. 53, falling 3-6 6-4 7-5. Raducanu got off to a fast start again and Siniakova appeared to be struggling with the heat and humidity, calling the manager after just five games. But the Czech bounced back 1-3 to win the second set. Raducanu appeared to have turned the tide in her favor as she took a 5-3 lead in the decider, but she ran out of steam in the end. Raducanu said: “It was a long match. Very long rallies. It was further evidence that the US Open champion has plenty of physical work ahead of her as she adjusts to life on the WTA Tour. While Raducanu was dejected, Heather Watson recorded her best win in the rankings in more than two years with a 4-6 6-3 7-6 (4) win over 20th-ranked Elina Svitolina. It's a good run for Watson, who recently dropped out of the top 100 and sees herself following in the footsteps of her compatriot Harriet Dart after also beating Svitolina at Indian Wells last week. Watson told Amazon Prime Video: "I love this tournament. I've been coming here for so long. "I'm really happy to be back in shape this year. I just ended up thinking that my fitness got me through this match. Elsewhere, Naomi Osaka claimed her first win over a top-20 player in a year, easily defeating three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-3. The former world number one is in the rankings dropped to 77th but played a strong match to meet Karolina Muchova in the third round, who is returning from a break through injury and upset Leylah Fernandez. Osaka said, "I'm definitely very happy with how this game went. I think she's beat me the last three games so it's really nice to turn that around and be able to do that in straight sets. Danielle Collins played her first completed match since reaching the Australian Open final, beating Anna Bondar of Hungary 6-3 3-6 6-4 while eighth-seeded Ons Jabeur Magda Linette 7-6 (1) 6 : 2 defeated. Meanwhile, former US Open champion Dominic Thiem has announced he will return to action at next week's Challenger tournament in Marbella after nine months with a wrist injury.

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Raducanu is eliminated in the second round of the Miami Open

Britain's Emma Raducanu suffers another early exit when she is beaten by Katerina Siniakova in the second round of the Miami Open. (Author: Gardener)

secondBritain's Emma Raducanu suffered another early exit when she was beaten by Katerina Siniakova in the second round of the Miami Open. The 19-year-old US Open champion has won just two of her seven games this season. Earlier, her compatriot Heather Watson celebrated her first win over a top-20 player since 2020 with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) win over Elina Svitolina. Watson saved a match point on her way to defeating the 20th-place Ukraine. It's the first time Watson has reached the third round in Miami in six years. I've been coming here for so long it feels like it's my home," Watson told Amazon Prime. She was nervous as she tried to finish the match. She started the stronger of the two and took a 4-1 lead while a tear-stained Siniakova took a medical time-out with what appeared to be a rib problem in the set, Raducanu raced to a break lead in the second set before the world No. 53 forced a deciding set. Raducanu left Again in the break lead early in the third set and had a chance to take a 3-0 lead before Siniakova rolled off three games in a row. Nevertheless, Raducanu countered and served up to make it 5-4, but a double fault gave the initiative to Siniakova back, the Czech, number one in women's doubles, was then able to capitalize on a visibly disappointed Raducanu to finish the win. Dropping out of the top 100, Watson has opted to miss Britain's Billie Jean King Cup tie with the Czech Republic in April to focus on her singles rankings. She played well against an out of line Svitolina and maintained her confidence after slipping a 4-2 lead in the opening set. She saved a match point when she served to lead the deciding set into a tie-break before reeling off three straight points to claim the win. "I'm really happy to be back in shape this year," added Watson. Watson next meets either Belinda Bencic or Marta Kostyuk, who is seeded at No. 22. Previously, Naomi Osaka had beaten Angelique Kerber in a clash between two former world number ones. Japan's Osaka needed just 60 minutes to defeat the No. 15 seed Germany 6-2, 6-3. The win is Osaka's first victory over a top-20 player since last year's Miami Open, when she defeated Elise Mertens in the fourth round. She meets Karolina Muchova next after the Czech defeated US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) in the second round. Danielle Collins was victorious in her first match since the Australian Open final where she finished second to Ashleigh Barty. Simona Halep retired from the tournament before her opening match with a hamstring injury. Spain's seventh Garbine Muguruza also retired on Thursday with a shoulder injury.

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Emma Raducanu's struggles continue with the loss to Katerina Siniakova in Miami

Emma Raducanu's tough training in her first WTA Tour season continued as she lost to Katerina Siniakova 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the second round at the Miami Open (Author: Gardener)

Emma Raducanu'sEmma Raducanu's tough training in her first WTA Tour season continued on Thursday when she served for the match in her Miami Open debut and was just two points away from beating Katerina Siniakova but failed to capitalize on her ample opportunities and eventually one bitter 3- suffered. 6, 6-4, 7-5 loss in the second round. As Raducanu stumbled, Heather Watson pieced together one of her biggest wins in many years, grinding her way through a grueling third set and demonstrating ample resilience by defeating 15th seed Elina Svitolina 4-6 6-3 7-6 (4) defeated. to reach the third round. For Raducanu, the 11th seed, their loss played out in a remarkably similar fashion to their loss in the third round at Indian Wells two weeks ago. Raducanu was dominant throughout the first half of the game, controlling most of the rallies from the baseline, taking the ball off both wings early and attacking freely as she established a 6-3, 3-1 lead. But Raducanu has struggled to play at a consistently high intensity throughout an entire game this year. In most of her matches so far, including Thursday, she's started extremely well, only to have her intensity, serve and ball speeds slack off. After a set and a collapse, Siniakova, ranked 53rd in singles and world No. 1 in doubles, quickly worked his way into the match. After catching the break, she finished the set near the baseline and upped the pace of her forehand. Raducanu didn't give up the match without an admirable fight, however, and she reeled off three straight games as the match seemed to slip away 2-3, 15-30 in the third set. As in her Indian Wells loss to Petra Martic, she served for the match at 5-4 but couldn't keep her nerve. After hitting a simple forehand at 30-30, Raducanu hit her only double fault of the game at the break point. Once again, Raducanu ended the game by conceding three straight games, and her Czech opponent moved on. With her hard court season over, Raducanu will now hit the clay and she is set to begin leading Britain in their Billie Jean King Cup tie against Siniakova's Czech Republic. More firsts await Raducanu as if she does play it will be her Billie Jean King Cup debut and her first professional game on clay. Meanwhile, Watson's hard-fought victory over Svitolina marks her first top-20 win since January 2020 and her 10th in 52 career games against the top-20. Earlier in the day, Naomi Osaka easily beat Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-3 and delivered her best performance and win in over a year. Against another former No. 1 and multiple Grand Slam champion, Osaka controlled the match from the start, serving extremely well and completely overpowering Kerber to record her first top-15 win since winning the 2021 Australian Open. As Osaka recovered from a highly publicized backlash in Indian Wells two weeks ago, which left her in tears after being snubbed by a fan, she said the incident convinced her to see a therapist for the first time , who helped her with strategies to deal with her emotions during her games. For example, if you can get a professional to help you with 0.5%, that alone is worth the effort,” Osaka said.

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Runner-up Kathryn Burn talks about the future

Apprentice 2022 runner-up Kathryn Burn has spoken about the future of her pajama brand after losing to Harpreet Kaur in the final for Lord Sugar's £250,000 investment. (Author: Gardener)

Kathryn BurnThe Swindon-born businesswoman, 29, saw her plans to grow her brand go up in smoke when Harpreet won in a dramatic boardroom - but she says people think her future lies in TV presentation, but she does determined to expand their business. She said: "I've had a lot of people actually get in touch with presenting, but right now the priority is pajamas. Who knows what the future will bring? Not to be: Apprentice 2022 runner-up Kathryn Burn has spoken about the future of her pajama brand after losing to Harpreet Kaur in the final over Lord Sugar's £250,000 investment in the future of her pajama brand after beating Harpreet in the final Barely lost around £250,000 investment by Lord Sugar Investor I want to grow and build the business. It's pajamas for now, but who knows what the future will bring. Pajamas is why I went on the show, I went on the show to make the investment and that's my main priority right now. "Previous candidates have sent me a direct message to show their support by simply saying, 'You're doing a great job' or good luck and we'll cheer you on." Reflecting on the start of her apprenticeship journey, Kathryn said: " When I first applied for the procedure, I had watched previous episodes and always thought I could do this, I can do a better job than them, so I really thought I was capable, but evident as I went through the procedure , there have been times when I thought I could I wanted to get fired, so to be in the finals and come second, I'm really proud of myself. Finale two: The Swindon-born businesswoman, 29, saw her plans to grow her brand go up in smoke when Harpreet won during a dramatic boardroom - but says people believe her future lies in TV presenting, she but is determined to grow her business My closest friend in this process has been amazing. I get hundreds of messages a day and they are so nice and it's so amazing that people you don't know reach out and send such kind messages and I read through them all. This comes as it was revealed Kathryn is selling her £39 Jaguar-print pajamas for almost double the price of other online retailers selling near-identical nightwear. In the final, the two competed against each other to create their own brand. I personally loved the finale. Obviously there was a lot of stress and pressure, so it was amazing to have a job that revolved around what you do for a living and what you love. "I didn't actually know I was capable of this, I was watching myself like I was going to carry on girl. ' I'm not really intimidated and I'm so passionate about my business that it's so important to assert ourselves. “I learned a lot from it, so much. There were a lot of things in the process that I had never done before, like pitching, it was all really new to me. “All candidates have their own strengths and it is an incredible opportunity to learn from each other in the future. “I think for me I've been in the last three a few times and I've been in the boardroom a lot. Out of our ten assignments, I was in the boardroom like our team lost 8/10 assignments, so every time you think I'll go this week. “You go straight into what you did wrong and the boardroom is a lot longer than what is shown on TV, everything is talked about and it was really stressful. "I'm really proud of my performance in the finals and Lord Sugar chose Harpreet because he felt she was the right business partner for him and that's absolutely fine. "Honestly I wouldn't change anything, even if I didn't win a lot of tasks I might not have made it to the finals if I had changed something. "You got up early in the morning, you're tired, you're stressed, there are a lot of limitations in the tasks that people don't know about, so it's a lot harder than it seems on TV. The interview comes after Apprentice finalist Kathryn was revealed to be selling her £39 Jaguar-print pajamas for nearly double the price of other online retailers selling near-identical nightwear. She said: "I think for me my main focus is the pyjamas. I obviously didn't get the investment from Lord Sugar so I'm looking for an investor. I want to grow and build the business." The businesswoman has marketed the product on her My Everyday Pajamas website for more than double that of ASOS and Missguided, both of which sell a very similar pair for £22. The entrepreneur was previously challenged in the semifinals for the remarkably similar designs before making it to Thursday's final. Kathryn started her business a year before applying for the show and had already moved an impressive 80,000 items herself, having imported goods from China. The Swindon-born entrepreneur was previously challenged in the semi-finals for the remarkably similar designs before making it to Thursday's final. Although she previously insisted on her business plan that she created the designs herself, Kathryn had to back down under pressure from interviewer Linda Plant. Linda pulled out a pair of almost identical pajamas and said, "Did you design the prints?" and Kathryn replied, "I didn't design the prints, no." Linda urged: "In your business plan you say you designed the prints. But actually this was bought from a shop on the high street and I would say it's pretty much identical. "Let's be honest, have you designed anything yet? She pulled out the same print, basically my pajamas, and placed them on the table. A spokesperson for My Everyday Pajamas told The Sun: "As a small business we pride ourselves on offering our customers high quality, ethical, matching pajama sets at a competitive price." My Everyday Pajamas offers matching pajama sets for children and adults Dogs. £39: Kathryn's brand sells a nearly identical pair for £39 (pictured)

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Rishi Sunak addressed the failure to help the poorest families

Experts say that under the Chancellor's mini-budget, one-fifth of Britain's population could be living in absolute poverty (Author: Gardener)

Rishi SunakRishi Sunak has tried to defend his mini-budget against accusations that it has failed to protect Britain's poorest families from the worst hit to living standards in six decades, as economists warned 1.3million people could plunge into absolute poverty next year will fall. Amid heavy criticism of Wednesday's spring declaration from opposition leaders and his own backbenchers, experts from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the Resolution Foundation think tanks said the chancellor could have done more to help those most in need. With those on the lowest incomes bearing the brunt of Britain's cost-of-living crisis, the Resolution Foundation said absolute poverty was now on course to hit nearly a fifth of the population. It said half a million more children were expected to fall below the poverty line this financial year, raising the total number of people living in abject poverty in the UK from 11.2 million to 12.5 million. The rise in absolute poverty - where households have less than 60% of median income - would be the first time such a rise has been recorded in Britain outside of a recession, demonstrating the magnitude of the shock to family budgets like the war in Ukraine contributes to a pandemic-related increase in the cost of living. In a series of pointed media interviews on Thursday, Sunak defended his plans by saying he couldn't solve "all the problems" and insisted on measures including a 5p cut in the fuel tax, a raise in the Social Security threshold and the promise of an income tax cut in two years would "make a difference". He said official projections for the biggest hit to living standards since the mid-1950s needed to be seen in context as Britain emerges from the "biggest economic shock in over 300 years" caused by the Covid pandemic. After Sunak was criticized for not announcing further support for those on Universal Credit, whose benefits will only increase by 3% while inflation rises to almost 8%, Sunak retorted during a BBC interview: "We can't do everything. Paul Johnson, the director of the IFS, said Sunak had "proved to be something of a fiscal illusionist" by announcing tax cuts and other measures that would do little to offset previously announced plans. Raising Social Security by 1.25 percentage points from April while announcing future income tax cuts "looks unsustainable from an economic standpoint, although you can see the political appeal," Johnson said. “Despite his rhetoric, he remains a chancellor leading a very large increase in the tax burden. What he did yesterday wasn't even enough to increase the expected tax burden any further.” Last autumn the government scrapped a £20-a-week increase in universal credit introduced during the pandemic, in one step , which charities had warned poverty was rising well before Russia's invasion of Ukraine resulted in inflation rates at their highest in three decades. Despite the growing pressure on families, the IFS said the cut meant the value of Universal Credit for a single unemployed homeowner with two children had fallen by almost a fifth in six months and was worth almost 9% less before the pandemic, after accounting of inflation. In a day of heavy criticism from all quarters of the government for its handling of the cost of living crisis, Boris Johnson himself seemed to concede that the measures may not go far enough. The prime minister suggested taking further steps to help families with the government's forthcoming energy security plan and dropped a strong hint that more support could be forthcoming ahead of another expected rise in energy prices this autumn. With Social Security contributions set to rise 1.25 percentage points next month and income tax thresholds frozen for four years, only one in eight workers will see an actual tax cut by the end of Parliament, according to the Resolution Foundation. Labor said Sunak is pushing the tax burden to the highest level in 70 years while doing little to help the poorest in society. Pat McFadden, the Treasury's shadow chief secretary, said: "He has chosen to push ahead with tax hikes now to fit the Tory party's electoral grid. "This decision will have a direct impact on the cost-of-living crisis getting worse for households in the coming year." Although promised future tax cuts could reassure the backbench of Tories uneasy about the chancellor's plans, several dismissed his spring statement back because she had done too little to ease the burden on families. While many Conservatives welcomed the plans, Lee Anderson, Tory MP for Ashfield's Red Wall constituency, said the 5p fuel tax cut was a "drop in the ocean" as it only impacted petrol prices on the lowered from where they were a week earlier. Peter Aldous, another backbencher, said he was disappointed that Universal Credit applicants' benefits would rise by 3% - less than half of what inflation is projected to be. With the cost of living rising, the Resolution Foundation estimates that a typical family will face a £1,100 loss of income this year, with poorer households bearing the brunt of the cost of living. It said household incomes in the five years since Boris Johnson was elected in 2019 - charged with boosting Britain's economy after a decade of austerity - are now on course for the biggest fall of any parliament on record. "The overall picture is that Rishi Sunak has prioritized rebuilding its tax-cut credentials over supporting low- to middle-income households, which will be hit hardest by the rising cost of living, while allowing for fiscal flexibility in the years to come," said Torsten Bell, Executive Director of the Resolution Foundation. "It remains to be seen whether that will be sustainable in the face of the coming huge falls in income."

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Government could flip energy bills after Rishi Sunak's disastrous media round

It feels like Sunak will be forced to offer a new support package and the only question is if it will come this summer or this fall (Author: Gardener)

Rishi Sunak'sWhen Rishi Sunak filled up a hatchback with gas after his mini-budget, there was only a glimpse that this photo opportunity was the start of a media destruction that would last nearly 24 hours. As he posed for the cameras (including a taxpayer-funded official "vanity" photographer) at a Sainsbury's in south-east London with the Kia Rio - a car Treasury Department insiders today admitted was borrowed from a supermarket worker - the Chancellor was interviewed by a pool TV team. But as he defended his spring declaration and said he was putting "billions of pounds back into the pockets of hard-working families," a motorcyclist at the petrol station nearby was less than pleased. The mimic message seemed simple and brutal: Tory Cabinet ministers have money for parties, but not for the public. The footage (that I saw) was never shown, partly because Treasury officials warned they would be unhappy if it were broadcast. Instead of offering his sweet treats to be scanned, he offered his debit card, leading to claims that he didn't know how to make a normal transaction. His alleged disconnect from the real world was brought home on an LBC phone a few hours later. One single mom, Hzul from Crawley, explained how she had to work three jobs, including cleaning and riding an Uber Eats bike, to help her kids and make ends meet. Sunak, who had been doodling throughout her story, replied, "It sounds like you're going to take your socks off to take care of her, so thanks." But he had no response to Hzul's key complaint that his 150th birthday -Pound council tax refund on energy bills this spring 'won't cut it' She urged him to "tax wealth instead of imposing social security on workers." Sunak dodged the demand, saying he was a fan of Southampton football club and replying: "'Patriotic millionaires'. That sounds fantastic." Critics in his own party may think he was delighted because he felt the group's title referred to people like him. After a string of negative morning headlines, the backlash didn't get any easier than that In a rare pang of irritation, when grilled by BBC Radio 4's Today program about the lack of support for the poorest, he said sarcastically: "If only I had the chance to try and answer the question , that would be wonderful." And in another awkward moment over BBC Breakfast, while discussing the rising cost of a loaf of bread, he blurted out: "We all have different loaves of bread in my house, a level of health between my wife, me and my children.” Under David Cameron, ministers regularly received a note with a simple shopping list with prices like a loaf of bread and a ha Pound gallons of milk for just that eventuality. Cameron himself famously admitted that he did not know how much bread cost. "I don't buy cheap sliced ​​bread, I have a bread maker at home," the ex-PM said. Grilled by LBC about his own wealthy background (public school, merchant bank), Sunak defended himself by saying: "Obviously I'm aware that not everyone has had the same opportunities and I've been lucky. That's why I work day and night in this job to spread these opportunities. I would say judge me by my actions.” Yet it is his fuel billing measures that many find inappropriate. And for Sunak, perhaps the most worrying media incident occurred when Boris Johnson showed up to LBC to signal that he wanted the whole energy bill issue re-tackled. That sounded a lot like a prime minister unhappy with the backlash over his chancellor's mini-budget, and felt more damaging than any supermarket stunt about the fuel tax. As if to confirm that this was no slip of the tongue, No. 10 later added: "We need to keep a close and vigilant eye on energy prices." It feels like Sunak is being forced by the Prime Minister to offer a new package of support and the only question is whether it will be this summer or this autumn. He proved in February that he can operate outside the normal schedule of "fiscal events" like budgets. It could be that once the energy and tax bills land next month, reality will start to bite the government as well as voters, and another reversal will follow. Johnson clearly does not want his administration to be labeled with the slogan "Live worse with less". For the public, the problem isn't just spin, it's substance.

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Rishi Sunak announces 5p fuel tax cut in Spring statement to ease cost of living crisis

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a five pence per liter fuel tax cut to deal with the cost of living crisis. (Author: Gardener)

Rishi SunakPresenting his spring declaration to Parliament, he said it would come into force from tonight and last a full year. Today I can announce that the fuel tax will only be reduced for the second time in 20 years. And while some have called for the cut to last until August, I have decided it will last until March next year - a full 12 months. "Together with the freeze it's a tax cut for hard-working families and businesses worth over £5billion this year. The Treasury said this will mean savings of £100 for the average car driver, £200 for the average van driver and £1,500 for the average haulier. It was one of three announcements Sunak made when he said the British government wanted people to know they "stand by them" as the cost-of-living crisis deepens, exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine will. The Chancellor announced that VAT would be reduced from 5% to zero on materials such as solar panels, heat pumps and insulation to help homeowners install more energy efficient materials. A family that has installed a solar panel will see over Earn £1,000. And savings on their energy bills of over £300 a year." Sunak also said he was doubling the Household Support Fund to £1billion, with local authorities best placed to help those in need in their areas, adding said they would receive those funds from April.But it drew criticism from consumer activist Martin Lewis, who tweeted: "If that's all he's doing on energy - it's limited and won't affect the majority of households who do." Elsewhere, he also said the threshold for paying Social Security will rise by £3,000 from July, amid criticism of the 1.25% increase. , which will be introduced next month to fund health and social security contributions. The basic rate of income tax will also be reduced by 1 pence a pound in 2024, which the Treasury says is worth £5billion for workers, savers and pensioners - and it will be the first cut in the property tax rate in 16 years. The Chancellor also unveiled a range of measures to help businesses boost investment, innovation and growth - including a £1,000 increase in employment support, which will benefit around half a million smaller businesses. He was under mounting pressure to continue helping households through the cost-of-living crisis after new figures released this morning showed inflation had risen to a 30-year high. According to the Office for National Statistics, the CPI rate has hit 6.2% in the 12 months to February thanks to increased energy costs as well as rising food and commodity prices. Sunak said he also forecast another rise, citing the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which now estimates average inflation at 7.4% this year. Because of these and other factors, such as supply chain pressures, the OBR downgraded growth forecasts from 6% this year to just 3.8% for 2022 in October. They warned that "there is an unusually high level of uncertainty about the outlook," while Sunak said it was "too early to see the full impact of the Ukraine war on the UK economy." He told MPs: "The OBR then expects the economy to grow by 1.8% in 2023 and by 2.1%, 1.8% and 1.7% in the following three years," said in its report on the spring statement The OBR: "As inflation outstrips nominal income and net tax growth from April's hike, real living standards are projected to fall 2.2% in 2022-23 - their biggest financial record year fall - and not to their pre-pandemic levels until." Regain 2024-25.” Sunak previously vowed to “stand by” families to help them get through the crisis but has been branded a “high-tax chancellor” by Labor, who have urged him to scrap the hike to National Insurance altogether chen. Meanwhile, fuel prices have also hit new record highs, with analysis released by data firm Experian Catalist suggesting the average cost of a liter of petrol at UK filling stations was £1.67 and diesel was £1.79 on Tuesday. The Chancellor also linked strengthening the UK economy to opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, telling the House of Commons: "So when I talk about security, I mean responding to the war in Ukraine. "A faster growing economy, the security of more resilient public finances, and security for working families as we help with the cost of living." Ukraine's invasion has exacerbated existing soaring wholesale gas prices, which have been fueled by a surge in demand in the wake of the pandemic. He also said that underlying debt is projected to decline steadily from 83.5% of GDP in 2022-23 to 79.8% in 2026-27.” “The OBR did not take into account the full impact of the war in Ukraine , and we should be prepared for the economy and public finances could deteriorate – potentially significant,” Sunak warned. “And borrowing costs continue to rise. In the next financial year we are expected to spend £83bn on debt interest – the highest on record.” He said he would continue to “weigh carefully” calls for additional public spending. Sunak had previously announced a £200 loan for gas and electricity payments from this October, while certain households will receive a £150 tax refund in April. In response, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said: "Today was the day the Chancellor could have imposed an unexpected tax on oil and gas producers to really help families. “Today was the day for the Chancellor to present a plan to support businesses and create good jobs. “Today was the day he could have canceled his Social Security increase. The Labor frontbencher told the Commons "in all his words it is clear the Chancellor does not understand the scale of the challenge" and said his decisions "are making the cost of living crisis worse - not better".

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Quantumscape stock still has some maturing to do before buying it

InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice and Trading Tips Up 11% over the past month, outperforming the broader market, Quantumscape (NY... (Author: Gardener)

InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock AdviceQuantumscape (NYSE:QS) stock is up 11% over the past month, outperforming the broader market. Since hitting a low of around $14 per share in late February, QS stock is up more than 10% and now trades at $17 per share. The company has outperformed the technology-focused Nasdaq index. The Nasdaq is up 2% over the past month but remains down 13% year-on-year. But despite its upswing in recent weeks, the maker of solid-state batteries for electric vehicles is still down 70% year over year. Quantumscape is developing a solid-state battery that promises to dramatically increase the range of electric vehicles while reducing costs. Until now, solid state technology has been largely a theoretical concept. Electric vehicles today are predominantly powered by lithium-ion batteries, which perform well but have their limits in terms of functionality. Many in the electric vehicle industry believe that lithium-ion batteries cannot be improved and that solid state batteries are needed to take the industry to the next level. Lithium-ion batteries replaced the (now obsolete) nickel-cadmium batteries found in the earliest electric vehicles. Although promising, solid-state batteries have not yet been successfully commercialized by any company. As recently as Feb. 16, the company reiterated that it expects to begin commercial production of its solid-state batteries within two years (2024). The breakthrough potential of Quantumscape's technology has attracted some high-profile, well-heeled investors, including Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates and German auto giant Volkswagen (ETR:). But despite the hype, QuantumScape has yet to finalize the design of the solid-state battery cell it plans to commercialize and bring to market. The company has said its main goal for this year is to finalize a prototype cell design that will move into commercial production. Quantumscape has announced that it will ship sample battery cells in 2023. While timelines are encouraging, Quantumscape has acknowledged some technology and production setbacks in recent months, and whether the company can meet its production schedule remains a question mark. Quantumscape is currently in the red as it works to commercialize its solid-state batteries. For the fourth quarter of 2021, the company reported a bigger-than-expected loss of $70.8 million, or 16 cents a share. Additionally, QuantumScape said it has well over $1.4 billion in cash on hand to fund its operations going forward. Although the company remains unprofitable at this stage in its development, the fact that its losses have narrowed is encouraging. Quantumscape went public in November 2020 through a reverse merger with a special purpose vehicle (SPAC). Back then, the company needed to raise capital to fund its operations. Some analysts have questioned the timing of Quantumscape's IPO, saying the company issued shares too soon. Since its market debut, QS stock has fallen sharply along with many securities that went public via SPAC deals. After peaking at just under $115 per share shortly after the IPO, Quantumscape's stock is now down 85% to its current level of $17. Solid state batteries are often referred to as the holy grail for the electric vehicle industry. However, perfecting the technology and bringing solid state batteries to market has so far proved elusive. It is instructive to note that solid state batteries have been discussed, debated and developed since the 1830's. Can Quantumscape crack the code and be the company that eventually commercializes the technology? Given the company's red ink and falling share price, investors should wait for Quantumscape for now. The company needs time to grow, mature, and prove it's on the right track with its solid-state batteries. QS stock is not a buy at the moment. The post "Quantumscape Stock Needs Maturity Before Buying It" appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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