Wednesday evening UK press briefing: Why pay rises are a problem

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Why, then, have the likes of the Governor of the Bank of England called on employers not to give staff pay rises to help meet these challenges?

The Chancellor’s response today to the reinstatement of the triple pension lock provides some of the answers.

Rishi Sunak insisted that plans for a 10% increase in state pensions will not fuel an inflationary spiral, but he also said wage increases for workers must be limited.

Read why he thinks workers’ pay rises should be “proportionate and balanced”, but a double-digit increase in state pensions is different.

Therese Coffey, work and pensions secretary, also said Britons should return the money from next year’s pension increase if they don’t think they need it.

The strikes continue

Curiously, the argument that halting wage increases is in the interest of the economy does not appear to have won with railway workers, who have confirmed that tomorrow’s strike will continue.

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Commuters still face travel misery today, with only 60% of rail services operating nationwide.

Tory MP Tobias Ellwood has claimed the rail union strikers are ‘friends of Putin’, suggesting the action distracts the government’s attention from the war in Ukraine, a fact the Russian president ‘will appreciate’ .

Teachers will also vote to go on strike if they do not get a “pay rise plus inflation”, threatened the general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU).

A phrase often used this week is that Britain was thrown back into the chaos of the 1970s, but Jeremy Warner says that we face far fewer challenges today than those endured five decades ago.

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Real estate surges

Indeed, many people in the real estate market are taking matters into their own hands in order to combat the cost of living.

Homeowners are paying thousands of pounds in penalties to end their current mortgage and strike a new deal before interest rates rise even further.

Fixed mortgage rates have risen for eight consecutive months and borrowers have raced to beat further price increases this year.

The race for cheap mortgages before interest rates rise has inadvertently benefited those who own property, pushing house price growth to 12.4%.

Plus, property buyers could soon borrow thousands more – and buy much bigger homes – thanks to a small technical rule change.

Commentary and analysis

Around the world: Ukraine lands on Snake Island

Russian forces on Snake Island have received a severe blow after Ukraine claimed a “significant victory” over the Black Sea outpost. The Southern Operational Command claimed it had caused major casualties to Russian troops after they “targeted strikes with the use of various forces” on the island. Elsewhere, a suspected Ukrainian combat drone hit a major oil refinery in southern Russia and caused a large fire on Wednesday, in what appeared to be another Kyiv attack on Russian soil. Russian missile strikes killed at least one person and damaged a school in the southern city of Mykolaiv. Rare access to Mariupol provided a first glimpse inside the occupied city as it rebuilds surrounded by death. Meanwhile, Europe has been told to prepare for a complete cut in Russian gas supplies as the continent’s energy crisis deepens.

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Wednesday interview

“America teeters on the brink of horror”

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