Monday briefing: Johnson to do battle over raising taxes

Hello, Warren Murray with the first things to know on the first workday of the week.

Boris Johnson faces a battle with his cabinet and MPs over manifesto commitments on tax and pensions and a cabinet reshuffle as parliament resumes today. The PM’s plans include raising national insurance contributions (NICs) by more than 1% to increase NHS funding and put a lifetime cap on social care contributions. Johnson is expected to announce an extra £5.5bn this year for the NHS, the Guardian understands. MPs have told the chief whip they could oppose the measures in the Commons.

Another manifesto-breaking move would break the pensions triple-lock link to earnings, after a higher-than-expected rise in wages which would have seen the Treasury paying out an additional £5bn in pensions. Reports have suggested Johnson could also use the end of the week to reshuffle his cabinet – with high-profile casualties likely to be Dominic Raab and Gavin Williamson. A number of ambitious ministers have been tipped to replace Raab at the Foreign Office, including the international trade secretary, Liz Truss, or Michael Gove or Priti Patel … Here are the challenges stacked up for Johnson as the Commons returns.

Britain’s labour crisis – The UK could be stuck for two years in its most severe labour crunch since the 1970s, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned. It wants foreign worker visas prioritised for lorry drivers, welders, butchers and bricklayers, but says minister are “waiting for shortages to solve themselves”. Pig farmers are warning they may have to kill and burn nearly 100,000 animals unless they can bring in more slaughterers. Britain needs about 100,000 more lorry drivers, says the haulage industry. The CBI says hotels are limiting bookings because they lack staff and laundry capacity, while understaffed restaurants are having to choose between serving lunch or dinner. The CBI says the government is right to want businesses to train and hire homegrown workers, but this takes time. The Resolution Foundation says the shortages are unlikely to be solved by the removal of furlough at the end of this month. The Guardian has approached the Home Office for comment.

Afghan resistance endorses truce – The leader of the Afghan opposition group resisting Taliban forces in the Panjshir valley has said he wants a negotiated settlement to end the fighting. Ahmad Massoud, head of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, made the announcement as Taliban forces claimed to have taken control of Panjshir – a claim that was immediately rejected by the resistance. A key Massoud lieutenant, Fahim Dashti, was killed in a battle on Sunday, according to reports. The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, is due to arrive in Qatar today as he seeks a united front with regional allies shaken by the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. As the Commons resumes sitting today, Boris Johnson is expected to tell British veterans of Afghanistan that he will “do right” by those who served. He can expect pressure to explain how the UK intends to resettle thousands of eligible Afghans who could not be airlifted out in time.

Gaddafi son freed – Authorities in Libya have released Saadi Gaddafi, 48, a son of the former ruler Muammar Gaddafi, who was ousted and killed after the 2011 uprising. The Libyan PM-designate, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, announced the release. Saadi Gaddafi, known for his playboy lifestyle during his father’s dictatorship and for being a professional footballer, fled for Niger during the Nato-backed uprising but was tracked down and extradited to Libyan custody in 2014. Three of the dictator’s seven sons were killed in the uprising and the country has since sunk into chaos. There is talk of Saadi’s brother Saif al-Islam Gaddafi running in presidential elections set for December.

Less meat, less heat – The UK should back development and sale of artificial meat to tackle the climate crisis, says the Social Market Foundation thinktank. Animal farming accounts for 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The official Committee on Climate Change has said the amount of meat people eat in the UK needs to be brought down by more than a third by 2050. Separately, more than 200 health journals worldwide are publishing an editorial calling on leaders to take emergency action on climate change and to protect health. The editorial in the British Medical Journal and others says: “Health is already being harmed by global temperature increases and the destruction of the natural world, a state of affairs health professionals have been bringing attention to for decades.”

IVF window stays open longer – People will be able to freeze their eggs, sperm and embryos for up to 55 years in an overhaul of fertility rules that scraps the existing 10-year limit. Individuals or couples will instead be asked every 10 years if they want to keep or dispose of the material, up to 55 years. Ministers said the change was needed because of the trend towards later parenthood and so those using assisted reproduction were not pressured to start treatment too soon. The change has been made possible by the development of a new freezing technique called vitrification, which means that frozen eggs can be stored indefinitely without deteriorating.

A warning call told residents of the al-Jalaa apartment block that their homes were about to be destroyed. This is the story of the frantic evacuation that followed – told through recordings made by the people who lived there.

Nadia Whittome, the Labour MP for Nottingham East, talks about taking time off to address her mental health, dropping out of university because of the cost – and why she’ll always give away a large part of her salary.

A must-see final day of the fourth Test is in store with England needing to create history if they are to end a gruelling few days with victory at the Oval, after India posted a second-innings total of 466 to set a daunting victory target of 368. Jesse Lingard scored twice either side of a Harry Kane penalty, before Bukayo Saka added a fourth in England’s comfortable 4-0 World Cup qualifying win over Andorra at Wembley. Argentina’s match against Brazil, meanwhile, was abandoned amid farcical scenes after four Premier League players apparently violated Brazilian regulations designed to contain a Covid outbreak. ParalympicsGB confirmed an incredible athletic performance in the most challenging of circumstances on Sunday as they finished in second place in the medal table at Tokyo 2020 behind China.

Max Verstappen led from pole position at the Dutch Grand Prix and crossed the line first to end the race with a three-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the Formula One title fight. Jonas Eidevall, Arsenal’s new manager, cautioned that his side’s thrilling WSL defeat of Chelsea for the first time in close to three years is “one game out of many”, after they beat their London rivals 3-2. At the US Open, Elina Svitolina won 6-3, 6-3 against Simona Halep, a double major champion, while Emma Raducanu will face American Shelby Rogers in the last 16. Catriona Matthew’s team need five points on the final day to retain the Solheim Cup and Europe’s captain said: “I am delighted to be going in with a lead.” Primoz Roglic sealed his third successive Vuelta a España title after adding to his already comfortable lead by winning the final stage’s time trial on Sunday. And Wout van Aert’s uphill sprint finish saw off Julian Alaphilippe on the opening stage of the Tour of Britain, while Nils Eekhoff of Team DSM took second place in Cornwall.

Leading European banks are booking around €20bn (£17bn) a year in tax havens – equivalent to 14% of their total profits – with Barclays, HSBC and NatWest Group among those enjoying the lowest tax rates, according to a new report. The FTSE100 is set to lift a fraction this morning with the pound on $1.385 and €1.167

As well as our lead story covered above, on NHS and social care, the Guardian front page marks the death of the Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding at age 39 from breast cancer. Those stories sit adjacent on other fronts, too: the Metro calls Harding a “Bright, shining star” while its take on the NICs plan is “Young face tax crunch”. The Telegraph says Tory party grandees are joining a “tax rise revolt” and the Mail calls it a “cabinet revolt”.

But the Express faithfully trudges out to the wicket with “Plea to nation: share tax pain to solve NHS crisis”, while the Times says the PM will “defy” those Tory rebels, saying its own polling shows he will have the public’s support.

The Mirror’s splash headline paraphrases Harding’s mother talking about “My beautiful girl Sarah, our bright, shining star”. And the Financial Times has something for everyone to get excited about … err … “M&A on track to break records after $4tn of deals so far this year”.

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