Home » Page 263
Categorieslatest

Mohan Guruswamy | Elections 2024: Modi up a steep & slippery slope?

Be it a democracy or a dictatorship, governments are almost always changed by throwing out the incumbent. The former is called a democratic transition and the latter is inevitably a revolution. Even if it is, as usually is the case, more of the same. India’s electoral process that begins on April 19 will be concluded on June 4 when the results are announced. Most psephologists, commentators, astrologers and bazar gossips are sanguine that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be easily re-elected to a third successive term. I do not agree with that sanguinity. I think Mr Modi has a hard hill to climb and the slope may be too steep and slippery for him. Look at the objective reality. In 2019, the BJP won 303 seats or almost 56 per cent of the Lok Sabha with 37.4 per cent of the popular vote. This skew is how it usually is in a first-past-the-post system. Even a minority mandate translates into an overwhelming outcome. But the problem with the BJP mandate is that it is concentrated in a minority of states. The saffron mandate is restricted almost entirely to the large Hindi-speaking states (202/235), as well as Maharashtra (41/48) and Karnataka (25/28). It got 268 out of its 303 in just this concentration. Winning these states is not the issue for the BJP. Repeating this performance is. The BJP governments in these states have not exactly covered themselves with glory. The party got resoundingly thrashed in the recent state elections in Karnataka, where Mr Modi fully deployed his mind spread and headgears, turning it into a Modi versus Congress contest. In the years after 2014, the BJP has turned every election, including for municipal councils, into a Modi versus the rest contest. It has lost many of these. For Prime Minister Modi to repeat 2019, we have to assume that the electorate is able to selectively choose Mr Modi for Parliament and not for the Assemblies. But a lot of murky waters have flowed down the Ganga, the Narmada and Godavari since 2019. The effects of demonetisation (2016), the Covid-19 lockdowns and general mismanagement have set India on a much lower growth trajectory than the one it was between 2004 and 2014. In that decade India’s GDP grew from $721 billion to $2.03 trillion, or an increase of 182 per cent; while in 2024 it grew to $3.75 trillion from $2.03 trillion, or by 86.6 per cent. But lower growth has not slowed down the accumulation of wealth with the upper class. Income inequality is among the highest in the world now. At the end of 2022, the wealth Gini coefficient of India stood at 82.3, a significant increase compared to 74.7 in 2000. Joblessness and job dissatisfaction have grown to dominate our economic and social landscape. The ILO’s “India Employment Report 2024” paints a bleak outlook for the 7-8 million youth being added to the labour force each year, with youth accounting for almost 83 per cent of India’s unemployed workforce. Even more distressing is that among the unemployed, the proportion of educated young people, those who have had a secondary-level education or higher, has doubled to 65.7 per cent now from 35.2 per cent in 2000. Unemployed graduates (29.1%) outnumber illiterates (3.4%) by nine times. This underscores the shortage of jobs requiring skills and education. The peasantry is disaffected and has taken to the highways again. While the Jat peasantry of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh fattened on assured MSP and near 100 per cent procurement wants more, the peasantry in the rest of the country chaffs at state regulations to control prices and hence restrict their incomes. The fragmentation of land holdings has only added to farmer discontent. Ironically, it is widespread even among those who get all and those who get little. That this general mood will not affect Mr Modi’s standing in the saffron belt even somewhat, despite a half-constructed temple in Ayodhya, is to be excessively hopeful. People are natural repositories of discontent. Even after Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya it didn’t take people too long to raise uncomfortable questions and Queen Sita had to seek refuge in Valmiki’s ashram. Mr Modi has to deal with discontent and in all likelihood there will be attrition. In each of the saffron states, the BJP won in 2019 with well over 50 per cent of the popular vote. In Gujarat, it polled as much as 62 per cent, in UP it currently holds 64 seats with 49.56 per cent, and in MP and Rajasthan it had over 58 per cent each. Only in Assam did the BJP do well (9/12) with only 36 per cent of the vote. Even in West Bengal, where Mr Modi waged a vicious and personalised campaign against Mamata Banerjee to win 18 seats, it won 40 per cent. The picture is clear, there is too little room to climb higher, while a drop could be very precipitous in terms of seats. Presuming Mr Modi will lose support in the BJP’s existing strongholds, where can it hope to make up for the losses? …

Categorieslatest

Katie Price ‘buys new horse for daughter Bunny’ after being declared bankrupt again

Katie Price is said to have gifted her daughter a new horse despite being declared bankrupt for a second time. The former glamour model, 45, splashed out on a horse for Bunny as she encourages her daughter to ride, according to reports. Katie is known for her love of horses, having ridden since the age of seven. She stunned fans after competing in the likes of the Horse of The Year competition showcasing her and her beloved horses’ dressage skills. It appears nine-year-old Bunny also has a love for the animal as the mum-of-five is believed to have treated her to her own horse. “Neighbours saw the horse being delivered and how excited Bunny was,” a source said. “Kate loves having a riding buddy in Bunny and knows how much she loves horses like she does.” “She doesn’t see it as another animal to look after but just how happy it makes Bunny,” they told The Sun. Katie also treated her eldest daughter Princess, 16, to her own horse for her 7th birthday. The purchase comes just a month after the star was declared bankrupt for a second time over an unpaid tax bill worth more than £750,000. Katie was previously declared bankrupt in 2019 and owes £761,994.05 to HM Revenue and Customs. At a short hearing at London’s Rolls Building, Insolvency and Companies Court Judge Sebastian Prentis said Katie had not responded to HMRC over the debt and declared her bankrupt. Following the news of her bankruptcy, Katie defiantly stated “no one can take her home” off her. While on stage talking to fans, she said: “You’ve followed my life, my journey, I say it as it is. Yes, I’m in a bankruptcy. But guess what? I own my house. No one could take it off me as well.” In a video shared withThe Sun, she continued: “I had a breakdown. And I don’t know if any of you have had a breakdown or been depressed or anything. And you didn’t communicate with things… and then you don’t answer letters. “Then it gets in the red. This, that and the other, then you’re like, I can’t cope, I can’t cope and you hide away. That’s basically what happened to me.” It comes after a bankruptcy expert claimed it would “take exceptional circumstances” for her to keep her £2million Mucky Mansion. Her earnings which she has made over the past five years – since she was last declared bankrupt in 2019 – will also likely be stripped from the star. Sharing their opinion earlier this month, the bankruptcy expert told Mail Online that Katie could risk losing everything she owns. Katie discovered that she was once again declared bankrupt while she was live on air during a podcast. Speaking on Straight to the Comments podcast, Katie said: “I know I had court, last week or the week before, but because of what’s going on in my life, I’ve actually been signed off. I’m dealing with serious stuff. You know, there’s all different kinds of bankruptcies – I think they just use the word bankruptcy. But nobody knows the ins and outs of everything – and trust me, I don’t get away with stuff either, like you can’t. Tax you can’t ever run away from, you have to pay. Don’t think I sit here and don’t pay stuff, because I do.” The Mirror has contacted Katie’s representative for comment Follow Mirror Celebs on TikTok , Snapchat , Instagram , Twitter , Facebook , YouTube and Threads .

Categorieslatest

Daytime TV death-wish adverts are no way to show the elderly respect

Daytime telly is awash with competing adverts for cremations. Some look like money-making scams, preying on old folk and their caring families. Give us your money! It’s almost like a scene out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. A financial adviser I trust tells me the end-of-life industry could become the next big selling scandal. Events in Hull suggest he’s right. Last month, 35 bodies and an unknown -quantity of unidentified human ashes were found in a funeral parlour in the city. Grieving family members complained of irregularities at Legacy Independent Funerals, saying they didn’t know if their loved ones’ ashes were genuine. Some second funerals may be necessary. A 46-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman are on bail, arrested on suspicion of -prevention of a lawful and decent burial, fraud by false representation, and fraud by abuse of position. Police probing concerns over business practices also raided premises of a funeral director in Didcot and Wantage, Oxon, last Sunday. The company is now closed pending inquiries. These cases could be the tip of a very nasty iceberg. They bring into sharp focus the unhappiness in many old folks’ households over TV funeral and cremation ads. There is even a Care2 petition online: “Stop all the funeral advertisements on British TV every day especially targeting the elderly.” Signer Tony S complains the cremation ad wars are depressing him and his wife, in their late 70s. “It affects our mental health.” Janet W simply pleads: “Please stop.” Anne A points out: “Thousands of retired people have their TV on for comfort. This bombardment is aimed at them. It is depressing and unnecessary.” I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the general view. I share it. Perhaps the Legacy Funerals scandal will force a rethink. There is a wider issue here. Anyone can set up as a funeral director. The industry is a free for all, and it requires anindependent regulator, appointed by government, not the profiteers

Categorieslatest

ITV Emmerdale fans spot Tom King’s ‘undoing’ as he attacks Vinny Dingle in shocking show of violence

Emmerdale fans have spotted a clue that Tom King will get caught out after he attacked Vinny Dingle tonight. Tom has been coercively controlling, manipulating and gaslighting his wife Belle Dingle ever since they got married earlier this year, with him going to extreme lengths to control her. He has had a puppy cam installed in the house – but is using it to spy on Belle – whilst he also has had a tracker put on her phone so he can see where she is at all times. As he travelled away from Emmerdale for a vet course, he kept an eye on Belle using the camera but was left fuming when she turned it off at Vinny’s request and rushed home. He headed to the house, not knowing Belle had gone out to walk the dogs with Vinny. When Vinny – who agreed to fix her phone – turned it back on at the scrapyard, Tom managed to pick up on the location and was horrified to find out where ‘she’ was. He rushed over there and found Vinny alone, hitting him on the head – but is he dead? Fans are now convinced they’ve rumbled Tom’s downfall. One wrote: “I don’t think a dry tissue is really gonna remove any fingerprints Tom #Emmerdale,” whilst a second added: “Tom is trying to wipe the fingerprints off things and then touching them again. Though in soap land fingerprints the police don’t bother with them. #Emmerdale.” A third shared: “Tom, if you’re going to wipe your prints off an object it’s probably a good idea not to hold the object steady whilst you do #emmerdale.” It comes after soap producer Laura Shaw revealed things will only get worse between the pair. She explained: “We’ve seen how their wedding night ended with Belle in tears, and we’ve seen since how Tom started to manipulate Belle and coercively control her. This long-running storyline has been really carefully researched and it’s going to continue over the next few months. We’ve been given access to real-life stories and spent time with charities like Refuge. What we’ve learnt from them is just how quickly coercive control relationships can turn physical, so that’s what we’ll see happen next with those two.” Laura also teased there would be some special episodes on the way, centred around Tom and Belle. She spilled: “With our storylines we’ve been trying to find new and innovative ways to tell the story, so we’ve got a special episode coming up where we step away from our usual Emmerdale format and do things a little bit differently. It’s a dinner party mainly focussing on Belle and Tom and Marlon and Rhona, and we’ll see what’s going on in their relationships and through a special way we’ve done it, we’ll be able to see that what you see in public is not necessarily what you see behind closed doors. It’s not the only special episode we have got planned this year but I am not allowed to tell you about the others.” Emma Atkins – who plays Charity Dingle – also revealed the Dingles will rally around Belle when they find out what Tom has been subjecting her to since she got married earlier this year, with Tom accusing them of “ruining” the wedding. “I don’t think there’s anyone at home who’s watching that story and not screaming out at the TV because it’s so well done. It’s been so well scripted and played excellently by those two – Eden and James,” she said. “I think at some point the Dingles will no doubt find out and then there’ll be extreme anger and upset – and support for Belle, because the Dingles always come together to rally round to support whoever’s in need.” For confidential support, call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Freephone Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or visit womensaid.co.uk If you or your family have lost a friend or family member through fatal domestic abuse, AAFDA (Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse) can offer specialist and expert support and advocacy. For more info visit www.aafda.org.uk *Follow Mirror Celebs and TV on TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Threads.

Categorieslatest

Dua Lipa reveals devastating effect Kosovo war had on her family before move to UK

British-Albanian Dua Lipa opens up on how the Kosovo War affected her family in a new magazine interview. Dua, 28, whose parents fled the conflict in her home country in the late 1990s, has called for a ceasefire the Israel-Hamas war. She said of her own experiences: “I heard stories from friends [in Kosovo] who lost family members. Houses burned. I saw them. It opens up a completely new world. I feel very close to [those suffering] injustices. Whether that be war, or coming out, everyone’s got a different experience… It’s about support and learning together.” The Training Season singer, recently spotted with actor Callum Turner, said her family also know how to party. “We celebrate anything,” she said. “When I go to my aunt’s house, and it all starts off tame. Then the music comes on and we’re dancing in the house!” Last month, BRIT Awards viewers were left mesmerised by Dua ‘insanely hot’ dad. Chart-topping singer Dua took home the award for Best Pop Act after she performed her latest single, Training Season at the beginning of the 2024 awards ceremony. Taking to the stage to collect her coveted award, Dua thanked her parents Anesa and Dukagjin Lipa who she says have continuously inspired and encouraged her to chase her dreams of becoming a global pop star since she was a little girl. Receiving a standing ovation, Dua skipped onto the stage, saying her fans are the “reason she’s standing here today” and thanked “each and every” person who helped to make her dreams come true. “You guys give me this radical sense of confidence that I can do anything and that I can try and experiment,” she gushed before ending her speech by thanking a whole list of people, including her producer, music team, the team at Warner Records, her band and dancers – and her dad, Dukagjin. As Dua thanked her father, the cameras quickly cut to her proud parent who cheered in the audience as his talented daughter took to the stage to accept her coveted award. And fans immediately flocked to X, formerly known as Twitter, to gush over Dua’s handsome dad. “Dua Lipa and the hottest dad in the world,” one person jokingly shared. “Now we know where Dua gets her natural beauty from. Wow, her dad is out of this world,” another echoed. “OMG Dua Lipa’s dad is smoking hot. Is he single? Asking for a friend,” someone else joked. “GUYS Dua Lipa’s dad looks like a hotter version of George Clooney. Talk about tall dark and handsome. Yum,” another swooned. Follow Mirror Celebs on TikTok,Snapchat,Instagram,Twitter,Facebook,YouTubeandThreads.

Categorieslatest

BBC viewers go wild as bosses finally confirm long-awaited return of iconic crime drama

The BBC has confirmed the return of fan favourite Father Brown for two more series. Filming of the 12th series of the popular crime drama is currently underway and the 13th series has also been commissioned and confirmed. Mark Williams, 64, who plays Father Brown, has started filming alongside his co-stars including Tom Chambers, who plays Chief Inspector Sullivan, Claudie Blakley, who stars as Mrs Devine, Ruby-May Martinwood, who plays Brenda and John Burton, who plays Sergeant Goodfellow. Both cast and crew are filming in the Cotswolds. Dressed as a clergyman Mark posted a snap of himself in character and wrote: “As we start the 12th season of Father Brown I feel like I’m starting to get to know him. He’s a mysterious sort of bloke, the sort of person who you can never predict other than knowing he won’t do what you expect.” He added: “The best thing about playing the character is that I am never, ever bored by him.” According to reports, the new series sees a death following a Tudor battle re-enactment – and Mrs Devine finds herself accused of the murder. Neil Irvine, who is the executive producer for BBC Studios Drama Production said: “I’m delighted that Father Brown will be cycling back onto our screens for a further two series. The show has an enduring magic which has captured the imagination of viewers across the globe – a testament to Mark’s magnetic performance, compelling storytelling and our talented Midlands crew.” He continued: “Series 12 will introduce Father Brown’s biggest fan, amateur playwright Father Lindsey and a deadly new nemesis, alongside the return of some old favourites.” The latest series is set to air on BBC One and iPlayer early next year. The crime drama is based on a series of short stories by GK Chesterton. Mark has become an unlikely sex symbol after a fan pinched his bottom when asking for a selfie. And on a separate occasion, an American woman walked over to him and said: “Father Brown, I feel like I know you.” When asked by the Daily Mail how he felt about being a sex symbol, he shyly replied: “No, I don’t. I’ve never been employed for my attractiveness. I don’t know about Father Brown, but a friend of mine said that when she was a child in Ireland there was always a bit of a ‘what’s under the cassock?’ romance about the young seminarians. ” He added: “But I think I’m a bit too old for that, in fact a lot too old for that.” Father Brown has become one of the broadcaster’s most popular daytime shows and has been viewed all over the world including countries such as America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and Norway. The original author created the crime busting character more than 100 years ago as an alternative to Sherlock Holmes. While Sherlock relied on scientific facts to solve murders, Father Brown gets to the bottom of the crime using his understanding of human flaws. Follow Mirror Celebs and TV on TikTok, Snapchat , Instagram , Twitter , Facebook , YouTube and Threads

Categorieslatest

Riverdancer Amy-Mae Dolan feels ‘lucky’ to tour the world with fellow dance sensation boyfriend

Riverdance dance captain Amy-Mae Dolan, from Aghyaran in Castlederg, Co Tyrone, is currently touring the world with the legendary show – which is coming to Ireland this summer. As one of the show’s stars, Amy-Mae has worked tirelessly to get where she is today, and admits there were sacrifices made along the way. She began her journey with Riverdance at just 19 years old when she began her training with the show. However, she says life life on the road with Riverdance is the experience of a lifetime, with the whole team supporting one another as one big family, and plenty of famous Riverdance romances blossoming along the way. Read more: Michael Flatley receives Award for Outstanding Achievement in New York “We are a huge family on the road”, she told RSVP Live, as the team are preparing for the Japan leg of their tour next month. “There are so many of us and we spend almost all our time together working, travelling, exploring that we really do become a huge, dynamic family. We try to look after each other and pick each other up when we’re homesick or going through a tough time.” “The friendships I have formed in Riverdance are so beautiful. My friends have seen me at my best and helped me at my worse when I’ve been away from home and they’ve had to step up as my family. It is so much fun to be travelling around the world with my friends and figuring things out as we go.” Homesickness is one of the main struggles for Amy-Mae, as she comes from a close-knit family being one of four siblings. “I miss my family and friends so much whilst I’m on the road. I’m the eldest of four and really miss my siblings and parents when I’m away from home. Time differences can present challenges and sometimes you just wish you could pop home for a cup of tea with your mum or spend your day off at home.” Preparing mentally and physically for tour can be intimidating too, with Riverdance performers needing to be at the top of their game when it comes to fitness and skill, so an in jury can come as a huge blow. Amy-Mae explains that injuries are the kind of setbacks you can learn from: “Of course injuries can cause huge disruption but through past injuries I have really learned how to take care of myself to prevent them from happening.” “Sometimes they can come at a very inconvenient time and mentally it can be super tough so you have to do a lot of work on your mind and body to make sure you are fit enough for a long tour ahead.” Amy-Mae initially got into dancing at a very young age, and says that her mum recalls her love of dance starting before she was even two years old. “My mum jokes I was only 22 months old when I first fell in love with dancing. When she was collecting my cousin from dance class one evening, I went missing and when they found me I was in the dance class trying to dance like the older kids. When I was very young I had 3 video tapes – Barney, my parents wedding video and Riverdance! “I watched Riverdance on repeat endlessly and completely fell in love with the female lead role. I grew up being enthralled by Riverdance and dreamed of one day being in the incredible, iconic, inspirational show!” Of course, sacrifices were made along the way, as any professional athlete will understand. Amy-Mae says she gave up all of her spare time to dance through her teenage years. “I would say most sacrifices were made whilst I was growing up. I completely dedicated my time to dancing and trying to be the best dancer I could possibly be,” she recalls. “I didn’t socialise outside of school and gave up every evening and weekend for dance class and practicing.” “My parents and family made huge sacrifices. When my parents realised how hard I was willing to work they done everything they could to help me including giving up a lot of their time and driving for almost 2 hours a few times a week to bring me to dance class.” “Dancing helped create a very special bond between myself and my mum as we were both always trying to do everything we could to allow me to grow as a dancer every single day.” Luckily, her love life has not been impacted, as her own boyfriend Matthew is also an incredibly accomplished dancer, and one half of The Gardiner Brothers, who travel the globe as content creators and often go viral for their incredible Irish dancing choreographed to contemporary music. Matthew is also a principle dancer with Riverdance, so the couple’s busy schedules are aligned. Touching on the much-noted phenomenon of romance springing up among the Riverdance crew, Amy-Mae says that having gone through so many of the same experiences allows dance crew members to really connect with and relate to each other. “Love is always in the air in Riverdance,” she explained. “Over 120 members of Riverdance have married. We are young people, travelling around the world, seeing incredible cities doing what we love. We share similar interests and have grown up sacrificing so much for dancing so can really relate to each other. Romance is always on the cards.” “I am very lucky that my boyfriend Matthew is also a principal dancer in Riverdance, we have so much fun performing all around the world seeing new places as we go. We are extremely lucky!” One day is rarely like the last when it comes to the performers schedules, packed full of travel and rehearsals. Performance days are intense, with tight schedules to make sure everyone is looked after before, during and after the shows. Talking through what her days look like, Amy-Mae shared: “First of all you could be wakening up in a new city anywhere in the world that you want to explore. So you have to time your day to make sure you see some of the city but don’t tire yourself and are ready to go and full of energy for rehearsals and the show.” “As a dance captain I create massage schedules for before and during the show. I decide which dancers will be on which dance numbers every night and have to make sure this is fair. Massages happen during the show so I have to make sure that someone isn’t due to be on stage whilst they are in a massage.” “I watch videos of previous shows and see what we need to improve as a cast and make a plan for rehearsals that evening. If I am dancing lead that night I have a massage around 4:30, then time to start the hair and makeup process before rehearsals. After directing rehearsals with the cast, I finish my hair and makeup and start warming up at about 6:55pm for a 7:30pm show. All the while answering any questions from cast and crew and helping in any way I can to make sure everyone is comfortable and happy for the show ahead.” “After dancing the show we stretch and get into large ice buckets to begin the recovery process, get some food and get as much sleep as we can so we feel good for the next day ahead. We also can have press to do and VIP meet and greats so there is always a lot happening which is great as no two days are ever the same.” Follow Amy-Mae on Instagram HERE, and check out the Dublin Riverdance dates HERE.

Categorieslatest

Missouri lawmakers back big expansion of low-interest loans amid growing demand for state aid

Missouri lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to significantly expand a low-interest loan program for farmers and small businesses, in a move that reflects strong consumer demand for such government aid amid persistently high borrowing costs. The legislation comes as states have seen surging public interest in programs that use taxpayer funds to spur private investment with bargain-priced loans. Those programs gained steam as the Federal Reserve fought inflation by repeatedly raising its benchmark interest rate, which now stands at a 23-year high of 5.3%. Higher interest rates have made virtually all loans more expensive, whether for farmers purchasing seed or businesses wanting to expand. Under so-called linked-deposit programs, states deposit money in banks at below-market interest rates. Banks then leverage those funds to provide short-term, low-interest loans to particular borrowers, often in agriculture or small business. The programs can save borrowers thousands of dollars by reducing their interest rates by an average of 2-3 percentage points. When Missouri Treasurer Vivek Malek opened up an application window for the program in January, he received so many requests that he had to close the window the same day. Malek then backed legislation that would raise the program’s cap from $800 million to $1.2 billion. That bill now goes to Gov. Mike Parson. “The MOBUCK$ program has skyrocketed in demand with farmers, ranchers and small businesses, especially during these times of high interest rates,” Malek said in an emailed statement Thursday praising the bill’s passage. The expansion could cost the state $12 million of potential earnings, though that could be partly offset by the economic activity generated from those loans, according to a legislative fiscal analysis. Not all states have similar loan programs. But neighboring Illinois is among those with a robust program. In 2015, Illinois’ agricultural investment program had just two low-interest loans. Last year, Illinois made $667 million of low-rate deposits for agricultural loans. Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs recently raised the program’s overall cap for farmers, businesses and individuals from $1 billion to $1.5 billion.

Categorieslatest

Preparations made for Government takeover of Thames Water, reports say

Thames Water could be taken over by the Government, with its £15 billion debt added to the public purse, reports have suggested. A blueprint codenamed Project Timber is being drawn up in Whitehall, according to the Guardian newspaper, which could see the UK’s largest water company effectively nationalised. Under the plans, the company – which serves 16 million customers in London and the Thames Valley region – would be placed in a form of special administration in the scenario that its parent company fails. Once under the stewardship of ministers, it could be broken up into two separate companies serving London and the Thames Valley, the newspaper said, though the Government and water regulator Ofwat remain optimistic this will not happen. Some of Thames’ lenders could lose more than a third of their investment under the plans, according to the reports. There is deep concern within Westminster about Thames Water’s finances, with multiple MPs having raised concerns about its struggle for cash to stay afloat in the Commons. The Government would not be drawn into directly commenting on the contingency planning, with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) only saying it prepares for a “range of scenarios”. “As a responsible Government, we prepare for a range of scenarios across our regulated industries – including water – as the public would expect,” a Defra spokesperson said. Thames Water has reportedly drawn up an updated business plan, which could be published within days amid its financial woes. It had originally wanted to raise customer bills by 40% to fund an investment programme worth £18.7 billion under plans published in October, but the company said water regulator Ofwat had imposed regulations on the plan which made it “uninvestable”. The company has £2.4 billion cash available as of February, enough cash for it to remain solvent until next year, possibly delaying any decision about its future for the next government. Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson and Richmond Park MP, Sarah Olney said: “Millions of households and taxpayers deserve to know Thames Water’s fate. This corporate clown show must end now. “The secret plans must be published immediately. Thames Water should have been put into special administration long ago, but the Government is too weak to take on this disgraced polluter.” Neither Ofwat nor Thames Water wished to comment on the reports.

Categorieslatest

Posthaste: Pain of Canadians’ mortgage payment shock is not over — not by a long shot

Are you worried about having enough for retirement? Do you need to adjust your portfolio? Are you wondering how to make ends meet? Drop us a line at aholloway@postmedia.com with your contact info and the general gist of your problem and we’ll try to find some experts to help you out while writing a Family Finance story about it (we’ll keep your name out of it, of course). If you have a simpler question, the crack team at FP Answers led by Julie Cazzin or one of our columnists can give it a shot. McLister on Mortgages Want to learn more about mortgages? Mortgage strategist Robert McLister’s Financial Post column can help navigate the complex sector, from the latest trends to financing opportunities you won’t want to miss. Read them here Today’s Posthaste was written by Pamela Heaven with additional reporting from Financial Post staff, The Canadian Press and Bloomberg. Have a story idea, pitch, embargoed report, or a suggestion for this newsletter? Email us at posthaste@postmedia.com. Bookmark our website and support our journalism: Don’t miss the business news you need to know — add financialpost.com to your bookmarks and sign up for our newsletters here.

Verified by MonsterInsights