Rishi on Cost of Net Zero: “You Can’t Put a Single Figure On It”





Rishi on Cost of Net Zero: “You Can’t Put a Single Figure On It”


Rishi Sunak’s just wrapped up his fringe event with the IEA and the TPA. It was a far-reaching conversation, although Guido doubts he was alone in coming away feeling apprehensive: a lot of eloquent chatter about why raising national insurance was right and necessary (explaining that NI’s historic link to healthcare made it the “least worst option“, especially given it “spreads the burden” on businesses), though also with an implicit warning that it could take several years before any significant tax cuts are possible. Asked by the IEA’s Mark Littlewood if the earliest chance of a tax cut was 2050, Rishi insisted that was “pretty pessimistic” – small mercies…

There was also a question about the cost of net zero by the mid-century, to which Rishi claimed “you can’t put a single figure on it…it’s an ambitious target”, adding that “innovation” was also crucial to hitting that target – not just spending. He did, at least, also reinforce that the upcoming spending review will force government departments to judge spending targets by outcomes. Every little helps…

Some may question why politically-savvy Rishi, who’s just put taxes up, chose the IEA/TPA as his only fringe reception of the conference. The fact his top advisor Nerissa Chesterfield used to work at the former was surely unrelated…



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