even tougher winter next year as natural gas stocks are used up and as new supplies to replace Russian gas, including increased shipments from the United States or Qatar, are slow to come online, the International Energy Agency said in its annual World Energy Outlook, released last week.

Europe’s activity appears to be accelerating a global transition toward cleaner technologies, the I.E.A. added, as countries respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by embracing hydrogen fuels, electric vehicles, heat pumps and other green energies.

But in the short term, countries will be burning more fossil fuels in response to the natural gas shortages.

gas fields in Groningen, which had been slated to be sealed because of earthquakes triggered by the extraction of the fuel.

Eleven countries, including Germany, Finland and Estonia, are now building or expanding a total of 18 offshore terminals to process liquid gas shipped in from other countries. Other projects in Latvia and Lithuania are under consideration.

Nuclear power is winning new support in countries that had previously decided to abandon it, including Germany and Belgium. Finland is planning to extend the lifetime of one reactor, while Poland and Romania plan to build new nuclear power plants.

European Commission blueprint, are voluntary and rely on buy-ins from individuals and businesses whose utility bills may be subsidized by their governments.

Energy use dropped in September in several countries, although it is hard to know for sure if the cause was balmy weather, high prices or voluntary conservation efforts inspired by a sense of civic duty. But there are signs that businesses, organizations and the public are responding. In Sweden, for example, the Lund diocese said it planned to partially or fully close 150 out of 540 churches this winter to conserve energy.

Germany and France have issued sweeping guidance, which includes lowering heating in all homes, businesses and public buildings, using appliances at off-peak hours and unplugging electronic devices when not in use.

Denmark wants households to shun dryers and use clotheslines. Slovakia is urging citizens to use microwaves instead of stoves and brush their teeth with a single glass of water.

website. “Short showers,” wrote one homeowner; another announced: “18 solar panels coming to the roof in October.”

“In the coming winter, efforts to save electricity and schedule the consumption of electricity may be the key to avoiding electricity shortages,” Fingrad, the main grid operator, said.

Businesses are being asked to do even more, and most governments have set targets for retailers, manufacturers and offices to find ways to ratchet down their energy use by at least 10 percent in the coming months.

Governments, themselves huge users of energy, are reducing heating, curbing streetlight use and closing municipal swimming pools. In France, where the state operates a third of all buildings, the government plans to cut energy use by two terawatt-hours, the amount used by a midsize city.

Whether the campaigns succeed is far from clear, said Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, a European think tank. Because the recommendations are voluntary, there may be little incentive for people to follow suit — especially if governments are subsidizing energy bills.

In countries like Germany, where the government aims to spend up to €200 billion to help households and businesses offset rising energy prices starting next year, skyrocketing gas prices are hitting consumers now. “That is useful in getting them to lower their energy use,” he said. But when countries fund a large part of the bill, “there is zero incentive to save on energy,” he said.

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Scarred by War, Ukraine’s Children Face Years of Trauma

KYIV, Ukraine — Using his small blue crutches, Daniil Avdieienko, 7, gestured toward two deep brown stains on the cement floor of the entryway to his apartment building.

The patch on the right, just inside the door, was his blood, he explained. Then he pointed at the other blood stain: “This is from my mother.’‘

Daniil and his parents were running to a basement shelter in central Chernihiv, a northern city where fighting raged in the early days of the war, when shrapnel struck him in the back. Eventually, he had to have 60 centimeters, or nearly two feet, of his intestines removed. Seven months later he is still recovering from his wounds, and will likely need several more surgeries, as will his parents, both of whom suffered serious leg injuries.

But while his physical injuries are on the mend, he is still grappling with the psychological trauma of the attack.

“Superhero School” to keep their education going and take part in weekly activities, like concerts and painting classes, intended to lift their spirits.

Many of the youngsters suffer from severe anxiety or PTSD, she said.

“If it’s a war trauma, it is very difficult to provide the sense of safety for that child,” she said. “Because the child understands that the war is not over.”

Despite their ordeal, many children push ahead with resolve, and even alacrity. Maryna Ponomariova, who is 6, has been working closely with psychologists, physical therapists and teachers since she came to Ohmadyt hospital this summer, weeks after a devastating May 2 attack on her home in the southern Kherson region.

when a missile plunged into the crowd standing outside.

Yuliia and her aunt were inside the station. A stranger shielded Kateryna with his body, likely saving her life even as he lost his own. The family found their mother’s body in the city morgue the next day.

Maryna Lialko had raised the girls alone after their father left the family, their grandmother, Nina Lialko, said.

“She was devoted to these two girls,” she said.

Kateryna was discharged this fall from Ohmadyt hospital, where she received psychiatric and physical therapy, and the girls are now in Kyiv living with their grandmother and aunt.

The aunt, Olha Lialko, said she has seen a shift in their personalities. Kateryna is increasingly turning inward; she speaks very little and struggles to maintain eye contact. Yuliia still can’t fully comprehend the loss.

“Katya is very closed; she keeps it all to herself,” Olha Lialko said. “Yuliia is missing mom a lot. She needs attention, she likes to cuddle.”

The family is trying to help the girls process their loss. And occasionally they see glimpses of the girls they knew before the war.

They dye their hair wild colors and play with makeup. They fight as only sisters can, and cling closely to each other for company.

But no one knows what will come next for them. Their life is on hold. They attend school online and have few friends in the new city. The family is unable to return home to Donetsk but unwilling to commit to staying in Kyiv.

“It will be very difficult for them to live without her,” their grandmother said. “This life has no sense at all.”

Oleksandra Mykolyshyn contributed reporting

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Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas Awards Nearly $17.2 Million for Affordable Housing

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) is pleased to announce that, in partnership with its member financial institutions, it has awarded nearly $17.2 million in Affordable Housing Program (AHP) subsidies to 26 projects, primarily within its five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. The subsidies will result in the creation or rehabilitation of 2,022 housing units.

“Everyone should have access to affordable housing and the AHP is one way we support our members in financing projects in communities with the most critical needs,” said FHLB Dallas President and CEO Sanjay Bhasin.

FHLB Dallas annually returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP subsidies to the communities served by its member institutions. AHP funding is utilized for a variety of projects, including home rehabilitation and modifications for low-income, elderly and special-needs residents; down payment and closing-cost assistance for qualified first-time homebuyers; and the construction of low-income, multifamily rental communities and single-family homes.

Between 1990 and 2021, FHLB Dallas awarded more than $344.6 million through AHP and Homeownership Set-Aside Programs, such as a down payment assistance program, a home repair and modification program geared toward seniors and others with disabilities and a disaster recovery program to help nearly 60,000 households.

Home Bank is among 14 FHLB Dallas members through which AHP funds will be awarded. FHLB Dallas awarded nearly $1.25 million through Home Bank to a project that will result in 94 new affordable housing rental units in New Orleans, and Opelousas, Louisiana. Kelvin Luster, senior vice president and community development director at Home Bank, said Home Bank has supported the AHP for more than 30 years.

“The AHP subsidies allow Home Bank to assist our communities in ways we could not have done on our own. We are pleased to be included in this latest round of funding to further our investment across the communities we serve,” he said.

Below is a state-by-state listing of the 2022 AHP subsidies. For more information about the 2022 AHP subsidies and other FHLB Dallas community investment products and programs, please visit fhlb.com/ahp.

Arkansas $1,185,000 for 228 units

Magnolia

Member: Cadence Bank

Sponsor: Magnolia Housing Authority

Subsidy: $750,000 for 180 rental units

Paragould

Member: First National Bank

Sponsor: Paragould Housing Development Corp.

Subsidy: $435,000 for 48 rental units

Louisiana $5,829,788 for 562 units

Alexandria

Member: Red River Bank

Sponsor: The Salvation Army Territorial Headquarters

Subsidy: $750,000 for 45 rental units

Baker

Member: Red River Bank

Sponsor: Gulf Coast Housing Partnership

Subsidy: $750,000 for 49 rental units

Houma

Member: b1 Bank

Sponsor: START Corporation

Subsidy: $399,787.51 for 33 rental units

Kenner

Member: Home Federal Bank

Sponsor: Kenner Housing Authority

Subsidy: $750,000 for 121 Rental units

Merryville

Member: Home Federal Bank

Sponsor: Merryville Housing Authority

Subsidy: $750,000 for 90 rental units

New Orleans

Member: Home Bank, N.A.

Sponsor: Providence Community Housing

Subsidy: $750,000 for 62 Rental units

Member: Fifth District Savings Bank

Sponsor: Gulf Coast Housing Partnership

Subsidy: $450,000 for 30 rental units

Opelousas

Member: Home Bank, N.A.

Sponsor: Gulf Coast Housing Partnership

Subsidy: $480,000 for 32 rental units

Rayville

Member: Home Federal Bank

Sponsor: Rayville Housing Authority

Subsidy: $750,000 for 100 rental units

Mississippi $1,110,000 for 74 units

Gulfport

Member: Hope Federal Credit Union

Sponsor: Gulf Coast Housing Partnership

Subsidy: $600,000 for 40 rental units

Jackson

Member: BankPlus

Sponsor: Gulf Coast Housing Partnership

Subsidy: $510,000 for 34 rental units

New Mexico $750,000 for 66 units

Rio Rancho

Member: Wells Fargo Bank South Central

Sponsor: CC Housing Inc.

Subsidy: $750,000 for 66 rental units

Texas $7,560,000 for 1,018 units

Alice

Member: First Community Bank

Sponsor: Rural Economic Assistance League Inc.

Subsidy: $750,000 for 68 rental units

Austin

Member: Texas Capital Bank, N.A.

Sponsor: Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corp.

Subsidy: $750,000 for 114 rental units

Member: Wells Fargo Bank South Central

Sponsor: Foundation Communities, Inc.

Subsidy: $750,000 for 123 rental units

Member: Wells Fargo Bank South Central

Sponsor: Foundation Communities, Inc.

Subsidy: $750,000 for 110 rental units

Fort Worth

Member: Texas Capital Bank, N.A.

Sponsor: Fort Worth Affordability Inc.

Subsidy: $750,000 for 174 rental units

Houston

Member: Frost Bank

Sponsor: William A Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity

Subsidy: $750,000 for 119 rental units

Member: Comerica Bank

Sponsor: New Hope Housing Inc.

Subsidy: $750,000 for 120 rental units

New Braunfels

Member: Frost Bank

Sponsor: Connections Individual and Family Services, Inc.

Subsidy: $300,000 for 20 rental units

San Antonio

Member: Frost Bank

Sponsor: Housing First Community Coalition, Inc.

Subsidy: $750,000 for 76 rental units

Member: Frost Bank

Sponsor: SAMMinistries

Subsidy: $750,000 for 60 rental units

Waco

Member: Texas Capital Bank, N.A.

Sponsor: Solutions for Veterans

Subsidy: $510,000 for 34 rental units

Out of District $750,000 for 74 units

Minnesota

Alexandria

Member: Wells Fargo Bank South Central

Sponsor: Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge

Subsidy: $750,000 for 74 rental units

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US Economy Grew at 2.6% Annual Rate in Q3, GDP Report Shows

The U.S. economy grew slowly over the summer, adding to fears of a looming recession — but also keeping alive the hope that one might be avoided.

Gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, returned to growth in the third quarter after two consecutive quarterly contractions, according to government data released Thursday. But consumer spending slowed as inflation ate away at households’ buying power, and the sharp rise in interest rates led to the steepest contraction in the housing sector since the first months of the pandemic.

The report underscored the delicate balance facing the Federal Reserve as it tries to rein in the fastest inflation in four decades. Policymakers have aggressively raised interest rates in recent months — and are expected to do so again at their meeting next week — in an effort to cool off red-hot demand, which they believe has contributed to the rapid increase in prices. But they are trying to do so without snuffing out the recovery entirely.

The third-quarter data — G.D.P. rose 0.6 percent, the Commerce Department said, a 2.6 percent annual rate of growth — suggested that the path to such a “soft landing” remained open, but narrow.

loss of purchasing power over time, meaning your dollar will not go as far tomorrow as it did today. It is typically expressed as the annual change in prices for everyday goods and services such as food, furniture, apparel, transportation and toys.

President Biden cheered the report in a statement Thursday morning. “For months, doomsayers have been arguing that the U.S. economy is in a recession, and congressional Republicans have been rooting for a downturn,” he said. “But today we got further evidence that our economic recovery is continuing to power forward.”

By one common definition, the U.S. economy entered a recession when it experienced two straight quarters of shrinking G.D.P. at the start of the year. Officially, however, recessions are determined by a group of researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research, who look at a broader array of indicators, including employment, income and spending.

Most analysts don’t believe the economy meets that more formal definition, and the third-quarter numbers — which slightly exceeded forecasters’ expectations — provided further evidence that a recession had not yet begun.

But the overall G.D.P. figures were skewed by the international trade component, which often exhibits big swings from one period to the next. Economists tend to focus on less volatile components, which have showed the recovery steadily losing momentum as the year has progressed. One closely watched measure suggested that private-sector demand stalled out almost completely in the third quarter.

Mortgage rates passed 7 percent on Thursday, their highest level since 2002.

“Housing is just the single largest trigger to additional spending, and it’s not there anymore; it’s going in reverse,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at the accounting firm KPMG. “This has been a stunning turnaround in housing, and when things start to go really quickly, you start to wonder, what are the knock-on effects, what are the spillover effects?”

The third quarter was in some sense a mirror image of the first quarter, when G.D.P. shrank but consumer spending was strong. In both cases, the swings were driven by international trade. Imports, which don’t count toward domestic production figures, soared early this year as the strong economic recovery led Americans to buy more goods from overseas. Exports slumped as the rest of the world recovered more slowly from the pandemic.

Both trends have begun to reverse as American consumers have shifted more of their spending toward services and away from imported goods, and as foreign demand for American-made goods has recovered. Supply-chain disruptions have added to the volatility, leading to big swings in the data from quarter to quarter.

Few economists expect the strong trade figures from the third quarter to continue, especially because the strong dollar will make American goods less attractive overseas.

Jim Tankersley contributed reporting.

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Putin Repeats Unsupported ‘Dirty Bomb’ Claim, Fueling Fears of Escalation

Credit…Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

KYIV, Ukraine — The pharmacies are empty, prices have skyrocketed and the remaining residents of the city of Kherson have been warned by occupying Russian forces that if they stay in their homes, they could be considered hostile and treated accordingly.

They have been offered only one exit route — farther into areas more firmly under the control of Russian forces.

“We live like in a dystopian movie here,” said Katerina, 38, on Tuesday by telephone. She asked that her full name not be used for her safety. She described widespread looting, empty store shelves and an increasingly threatening atmosphere.

“People are trying to get rid of Russian money as soon as possible,” Katerina said.

Unreliable phone and internet services have made it exceedingly difficult to get information about what is happening in Kherson and across Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine. But details seeping out from photos, video, Ukrainian officials and activists suggest a dangerous situation for the thousands believed to still be there.

On Wednesday, explosions rattled windows across the city. Local activists said it was a Ukrainian strike targeting a Russian base being used to train newly mobilized soldiers. The Ukrainian military has not commented on the strike.

Russian news media reported that the local police station was attacked by a rocket-propelled grenade, releasing video of a damaged building in the city.

Fighting raged across Kherson, with the Ukrainian military southern command saying that it struck Russian positions across the region.

“The enemy is conducting defensive operations and trying to hold the occupied frontiers,” the Ukrainian military said. “With aviation, multiple launch rocket systems, cannon artillery and mortars, the enemy is opening fire on Ukrainian forces all over the contact line.”

The Russian hold on Kherson remains precarious. Kirill Stremousov, a top Russian proxy official in Kherson, claimed on the Telegram messaging app that occupation officials had moved over 22,000 people from the west bank, but Ukrainian officials have said far fewer have left, putting the number at several thousand.

Calling people still in the city “waiters” hoping for success of Ukrainian forces, Mr. Stremousov threatened those who remained with prosecution, adding #Stalin to his message.

He posted a video interrogation of what he said was a 17-year-old who was providing information to the Ukrainian military as evidence of the fate that awaits those who help the Ukrainian military. The video could not be independently verified.

Military analysts have said that it appears the Russian military is making preparations to leave the city and fall back across the Dnipro River to its west bank, where Ukrainian officials have said Russian forces were fortifying their position. But there was no indication of a mass flight of Russian soldiers.

President Vladimir V. Putin in September overruled local commanders who wanted to withdraw across the river, U.S. officials have said, and Ukraine says it believes Russian force still plan to fight.

“The Russians are replenishing, strengthening their grouping there,” Oleksiy Arestovych, a senior adviser to Mr. Zelensky, said in an online video late Tuesday. “It means that nobody is preparing to withdraw. On the contrary, the heaviest of battles is going to take place for Kherson.”

Anna Lukinova contributed reporting from Kyiv.

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Beazer Homes USA, Inc. to Webcast Its Fourth Quarter and Full Year Fiscal 2022 Financial Results Conference Call on November 10, 2022

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH) (www.beazer.com) has scheduled the release of its financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2022 on Thursday, November 10, 2022 after the close of the market. Management will host a conference call on the same day at 5:00 PM ET to discuss the results.

The public may listen to the conference call and view the Company’s slide presentation on the “Investor Relations” page of the Company’s website, www.beazer.com. In addition, the conference call will be available by telephone at 800-475-0542 (for international callers, dial 517-308-9429). To be admitted to the call, enter the pass code “8571348.” A replay of the conference call will be available, until 10:00 PM ET on November 18, 2022 at 888-566-0411 (for international callers, dial 203-369-3041) with pass code “3740.”

About Beazer Homes

Headquartered in Atlanta, Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH) is one of the country’s largest homebuilders. Every Beazer home is designed and built to provide Surprising Performance, giving you more quality and more comfort from the moment you move in – saving you money every month. With Beazer’s Choice Plans™, you can personalize your primary living areas – giving you a choice of how you want to live in the home, at no additional cost. And unlike most national homebuilders, we empower our customers to shop and compare loan options. Our Mortgage Choice program gives you the resources to easily compare multiple loan offers and choose the best lender and loan offer for you, saving you thousands over the life of your loan.

We build our homes in Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. For more information, visit beazer.com, or check out Beazer on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Tricon Completes the Sale of its Interest in U.S. Multi-family Portfolio for $315 Million of Proceeds

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Tricon Residential Inc. (“Tricon” or the “Company”) (NYSE: TCN, TSX: TCN), an owner and operator of single-family rental homes and multi-family rental apartments in the United States and Canada, confirmed today the closing of the previously announced sale of its 20% equity interest in a portfolio of 23 Sun Belt apartment buildings to a vertically integrated residential real estate investment and property management company, which will assume all asset and property management responsibilities for the portfolio after a customary transition period.

The sale resulted in gross proceeds of approximately $315 million to Tricon. The Company intends to use the net sale proceeds primarily to repay outstanding debt on its corporate credit facility, enhancing its balance sheet flexibility to pursue future growth in its core single-family rental business. Tricon also intends to use a portion of the proceeds to repurchase common shares under the normal course issuer bid announced on October 13, 2022.

About Tricon Residential Inc.

Tricon Residential Inc. is an owner and operator of a growing portfolio of approximately 34,000 single-family rental homes and multi-family rental apartments in the United States and Canada with a primary focus on the U.S. Sun Belt. Our commitment to enriching the lives of our residents and local communities underpins Tricon’s culture and business philosophy. We strive to continuously improve the resident experience through our technology-enabled operating platform and innovative approach to rental housing. At Tricon Residential, we imagine a world where housing unlocks life’s potential. For more information, visit www.triconresidential.com.

Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains forward-looking statements and information relating to expected future events and the Company’s financial and operating results and projections that involve risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding the Company’s intentions, growth and investment opportunities, and performance goals and expectations. Such forward-looking information is typically indicated by the use of words such as “will”, “may”, “expects” or “intends”. The forward-looking statements and information contained in this press release include, without limitation, statements regarding: the Company’s use of the net transaction proceeds and the expected debt reduction and balance sheet impact of that use.

If unknown risks arise, or if any of the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may differ materially from management expectations as projected in such forward-looking statements. Examples of such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the inability to complete the transaction described herein due to the failure to satisfy its requisite conditions, and other risk factors described in the Company’s continuous disclosure materials from time to time, available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Accordingly, although we believe that our anticipated future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements and information are based upon reasonable assumptions and expectations, the reader should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and information. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable law.

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An Uptick in Elder Poverty: A Blip, or a Sign of Things to Come?

“We’re getting more and more older people who lived through this experiment with do-it-yourself pensions, and they’re coming into this age group without the same kind of incomes that older people have,” said Teresa Ghilarducci, an economics professor at the New School who specializes in retirement policy. “I don’t think it’s a blip.”

Even though the share of elderly people officially below the poverty line is low by historical standards in the United States, it remains among the highest in the developed world, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The average poverty rate for older Americans also masks far higher shares among more vulnerable groups, with nearly one in five Black and Hispanic women 65 or older falling below the official poverty threshold in 2021. It’s higher for single people, too — a reality forced on hundreds of thousands of older Americans whose spouses died of Covid-19.

The poverty rate is also not a bright line when it comes to financial hardship. It doesn’t take into account debt, which more seniors have accumulated since the Great Recession. Moreover, nearly one in four people 65 or older make less than 150 percent of the federal poverty line, or $19,494 on average for those living alone. Another measure, developed by the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston and called the Elder Index, finds that it takes $22,476 for a single older person in good health with no mortgage to cover basic needs, with the cost escalating for renters and those with health problems.

“To some extent we’re splitting hairs when we talk about people who fall just above and just below, because they’re all struggling,” said Jan Mutchler, a demographer at the University of Massachusetts at Boston who helped devise the Elder Index. “The assumptions that go into what we’re calling hardship are just flawed.”

That’s true for Juanita Brown, 77, who lives on her own in Galax, a small town in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. A farmer’s daughter, she worked as a nanny, and then a certified nursing assistant, and then a preschool teacher. Her husband worked in the local textile industry, and after raising two children, they had built a substantial nest egg.

But then Ms. Brown’s mother developed Alzheimer’s disease and couldn’t support herself. Ms. Brown stopped working to take care of her, which cost another $500 per month in expenses. Her husband got prostate cancer, which required extended trips to the hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C.

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As UK’s Truss fights for job, new finance minister says she made mistakes

  • Truss sacked finance minister on Friday
  • New chancellor Hunt warns of tough decisions
  • ‘I’ve listened, I get it’, Truss says
  • BoE’s Bailey says agrees with Hunt on need to fix finances
  • Some Conservative lawmakers say Truss will be ousted

LONDON, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Britain’s new finance minister Jeremy Hunt said on Saturday some taxes would go up and tough spending decisions were needed, saying Prime Minister Liz Truss had made mistakes as she battles to keep her job just over a month into her term.

In an attempt to appease financial markets that have been in turmoil for three weeks, Truss fired Kwasi Kwarteng as her chancellor of the exchequer on Friday and scrapped parts of their controversial economic package.

With opinion poll ratings dire for both the ruling Conservative Party and the prime minister personally, and many of her own lawmakers asking, not if, but how Truss should be removed, Truss is relying on Hunt to help salvage her premiership less than 40 days after taking office.

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In an article for the Sun newspaper published late on Saturday, Truss admitted the plans had gone “further and faster than the markets were expecting”.

“I’ve listened, I get it,” she wrote. “We cannot pave the way to a low-tax, high-growth economy without maintaining the confidence of the markets in our commitment to sound money.”

She said Hunt would lay out at the end of the month the plan to get national debt down “over the medium term”.

But, the speculation about her future shows no sign of diminishing, with Sunday’s newspapers rife with stories that allies of Rishi Sunak, another former finance minister who she beat to become leader last month, were plotting to force her out within weeks.

On a tour of TV and radio studios, Hunt gave a blunt assessment of the situation the country faced, saying Truss and Kwarteng had made mistakes and further changes to her plans were possible.

“We will have some very difficult decisions ahead,” he said.”The thing that people want, the markets want, the country needs now, is stability.”

The Sunday Times said Hunt would rip up more of Truss’s original package by delaying a planned cut to the basic rate of income tax as part of a desperate bid to balance the books.

According to the newspaper, Britain’s independent fiscal watchdog had said in a draft forecast there could be a 72 billion pound ($80 billion) black hole in public finances by 2027/28, worse than economists had forecast.

Truss had won the leadership contest to replace Boris Johnson on a platform of big tax cuts to stimulate growth, which Kwarteng duly announced last month. But the absence of any details of how the cuts would be funded sent the markets into meltdown.

She has already ditched plans to cut tax for high earners, and said a levy on business would increase, abandoning her proposal to keep it at current levels. But a slump in bond prices after her news conference on Friday still suggested she had not gone far enough.

‘MEETING OF MINDS’

Kwarteng’s Sept. 23 fiscal statement prompted a backlash in financial markets that was so ferocious the Bank of England (BoE) had to intervene to prevent pension funds being caught up in the chaos as borrowing costs surged.

BoE Governor Andrew Bailey said he had spoken to Hunt and they had agreed on the need to repair the public finances.

“There was a very clear and immediate meeting of minds between us about the importance of fiscal sustainability and the importance of taking measures to do that,” Bailey said in Washington on Saturday. “Of course, there was an important measure taken yesterday.”

He also warned that inflation pressures might require a bigger interest rate rise than previously thought due to the government’s huge energy subsidies for homes and businesses, and its tax cut plans.

Hunt is due to announce the government’s medium-term budget plans on Oct. 31, in what will be a key test of its ability to show it can restore its economic policy credibility.

He cautioned spending would not rise by as much as people would like and all government departments were going to have to find more efficiencies than they were planning.

“Some taxes will not be cut as quickly as people want, and some taxes will go up. So it’s going to be difficult,” he said. He met Treasury officials on Saturday and will hold talks with Truss on Sunday to go through the plans.

‘MISTAKES MADE’

Hunt, an experienced minister and viewed by many in his party as a safe pair of hands, said he agreed with Truss’s fundamental strategy of kickstarting economic growth, but he added that their approach had not worked.

“There were some mistakes made in the last few weeks. That’s why I’m sitting here. It was a mistake to cut the top rate of tax at a period when we’re asking everyone to make sacrifices,” he said.

It was also a mistake, Hunt said, to “fly blind” and produce the tax plans without allowing the independent fiscal watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, to check the figures.

The fact that Hunt is Britain’s fourth finance minister in four months is testament to a political crisis that has gripped Britain since Johnson was ousted following a series of scandals.

Hunt said Truss should be judged at an election and on her performance over the next 18 months – not the last 18 days.

However, she might not get that chance. During the leadership contest, Truss won support from less than a third of Conservative lawmakers and has appointed her backers since taking office – alienating those who supported her rivals.

The appointment of Hunt, who ran to be leader himself and then backed Sunak, has been seen as a sign of her reaching out, but the move did little to placate some of her party critics.

“It’s over for her,” one Conservative lawmaker told Reuters after Friday’s events.

($1 = 0.8953 pounds)

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Reporting by Michael Holden, Alistair Smout and William Schomberg
Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Helen Popper, Ros Russell and Diane Craft

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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