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Finance

Is Britain headed for a summer of strikes?

As Britain prepares for its biggest rail strike for a generation, union leaders have warned that industrial action will spread across the country without government backing for wage rises. The issue is how wide-ranging such action will be, when it will occur, and how much of an impact it will have. This week’s rail strikes, […]

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Finance

Government unnerved by looming wave of UK industrial action

Senior members of Boris Johnson’s government say a looming clash with public sector workers is one of the biggest risks to the UK’s economic and political stability, with anger over pay building towards a wave of industrial action. A nationwide walkout due to cripple rail services next week has been billed as the start of […]

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Finance

Bank of England raises interest rates by 0.25 percentage points

The Bank of England raised interest rates by 0.25 percentage points on Thursday and warned it expected inflation to climb above 11 per cent before the end of the year. The increase — the fifth time the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee has tightened policy in back-to-back meetings — takes the BoE’s benchmark rate to 1.25 […]

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Finance

UK job vacancies at record high despite stalling economy

Stalling economic growth has not yet taken the heat out of the UK labour market, according to official data on Tuesday that showed the number of full-time employees at a record high, redundancies at record lows and the number of unfilled jobs at a new record of 1.3mn. The figures, released by the Office for […]

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Finance

UK ‘living wage’ increase to be brought forward to September

UK employers who commit to pay the voluntary “living wage” are being urged to bring forward a bumper pay rise to match soaring prices and utility bills, as inflation is expected to reach double digits in the autumn. The Living Wage Foundation, a charity that campaigns for fair pay, said on Sunday it would bring […]

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Finance

Cost of living crisis: Sunak engages in ‘serious redistribution’ to help UK’s poorest

Stung by criticism of his Spring Statement, Rishi Sunak has engaged in some “serious redistribution from rich to poor” in his latest package of measures to address the cost of living crisis, analysts say — imperilling his ability to brand himself a low-tax chancellor. Here, the Financial Times examines how the new support will help […]

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Finance

UK rail workers vote in favour of nationwide strike

Britain faces a summer of travel chaos after railway workers voted for nationwide strike action in a dispute over jobs and pay. The RMT union said on Tuesday evening that the vote was “the biggest endorsement of industrial action since privatisation”, after balloting more than 40,000 members at the infrastructure operator Network Rail and at […]

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Finance

UK inequality worsens as wages rise fastest for high earners

Inequality is on the rise again in the UK, with pay growing fastest for the highest earners, while inflation hits those on low incomes hardest. Figures published last week by the Office for National Statistics showed average earnings in finance were 25 per cent higher in cash terms in March than the pre-pandemic level, outstripping […]

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Finance

Rise in UK minimum wage helped narrow inequality but failed to lift productivity

Rapid increases in the UK’s minimum wage helped to narrow inequality, but have done nothing to lift the country’s persistently poor productivity, according to an independent review of the policy. Under a policy set by the Conservative chancellor George Osborne, the UK’s minimum wage rose at twice the rate of median hourly pay between 2015 […]

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Finance

UK unemployment falls to lowest level in nearly 50 years

UK unemployment fell to its lowest level in nearly half a century in the first quarter of 2022, with almost a million people switching jobs as the number of vacancies rose to a new high of 1.3mn. The Office for National Statistics said the jobless rate stood at 3.7 per cent in the three months […]