Annual MOT checks could be scrapped under government plans

Politics

Annual MOT checks could be scrapped under government plans to ease the cost of living for households across the country, Sky News understands.

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson held a cabinet meeting in which he asked his top team to come with “innovative” ideas to help ease the pressure on household finances which do not require government spending.

Sky News understands that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps mooted the idea of moving from an annual vehicle check to a check every two years.

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The proposed change could save motorists up to £55 annually.

But it is understood that not all cabinet ministers at the meeting supported the idea, with at least one objecting on the grounds that inefficient cars burn more fuel.

Some industry experts, including motoring body the AA, have also warned such a move could lead to higher repair bills for drivers who do not catch problems early enough.

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British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps walks outside Downing Street, in London, Britain, April 19, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is said to be the minister who mooted the idea of scrapping annual MOTs

Annual MOT could be made bi-annual

Millions of people in Britain are facing an increase in energy bills, council tax and the effects of a National Insurance tax rise – as well as inflation hitting a 30-year-high of 7% earlier this month.

After the PM’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Number 10 announced that Mr Johnson will chair a committee with the aim of tackling the cost of living crisis “in the next couple of weeks”.

The membership of the Domestic and Economic Strategy Committee, which is not new, includes the prime minister, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Cabinet Office minister Steve Barclay.

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The prime minister’s official spokesperson confirmed ministers talked through “a number of ideas” to ease the pressure on household finances which will “feed in to a more formal process”.

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Sky’s business correspondent Helen-Ann Smith looks at how prices of every day items have been impacted by rising inflation

Govt will have ‘more to say’ on childcare

A future announcement on childcare aimed at easing the financial burden faced by many families was also hinted by Number 10.

Asked about the childcare measures, the PM’s official spokesperson added: “I think all I can say is that this is an area where the government recognises there is more to do.

“There is live policy work taking place and I’m sure we’ll have more to say in the future.”

A possible move could be increasing the number of individuals a childminder can look after at once to bring down costs for parents and carers.

At present, childminders can look after a maximum of six individuals under eight years old at a time.

Speaking on Wednesday, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab told Sky News “there is a whole range of things” that ministers are looking at to ease the financial burden increased living costs are putting on households.

“We’re going to continue unflinchingly to look at what more we can do – and the reason being is we understand the pressure that families up and down the country are facing,” he said.

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‘No golden bullet’ to solving cost of living crisis

On Tuesday morning, Armed Forces minister James Heappey told Sky News there is “no doubt” that any interventions by the government will be “expensive”, but added that “cumulatively” a range of measures could “start to make a difference”.

He also warned that there is “no golden bullet” to solve the cost of living crisis.

Meanwhile, Labour has reiterated its call for an “emergency budget” to tackle the rising costs households are facing.

Speaking to broadcasters on Tuesday, Sir Keir Starmer said it should include a windfall tax on oil and gas companies to allow energy bills to be cut “at the very least”.

The Labour leader added that he would like to see “rate relief for businesses” and money fraudulently claimed through coronavirus business support schemes “clawed back”.

“The argument the government is trying to put forward that there is nothing we can do is absolute nonsense,” he added.

According to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics this week, almost nine out of 10 adults say they have seen a rise in their cost of living – compared to 62% in November last year.

On Monday, supermarket groups Asda and Morrisons announced efforts to help struggling shoppers during the cost of living crisis.

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