Britain is to suffer chaos from industrial action on every day until Christmas – and it is likely to get worse, with more walkouts in the pipeline. We have a calendar of the UK’s winter of discontent.
Unions gear up for month of industrial action
It is the first day of December – the start of a month of strike action that will impact millions of Britons. The UK is to be disrupted by strikes every day until Christmas as trade unions seek to bring the country to a halt in a new winter of discontent. Rail workers, including staff at Eurostar, nurses, teachers, security guards handling cash, driving examiners and rural payments officers are planning industrial action that will affect every day over advent – set out in this calendar. The true scale of the disruption is set to be significantly worse, as the union representing civil servants – including Border Force, Passport Office and National Highways employees – has backed strike action but is yet to confirm dates. It has indicated that it could time industrial action to hit before Christmas, but has to give two weeks’ notice. As Oliver Gill reports, ministers said that trade unions’ decision to take pre-emptive action instead of entering talks would “cause disruption for millions of people”.
With soaring inflation fuelling a cost of living crisis, unions are demanding bumper pay increases for their members. Inflation is at 11.1 per cent, a 41 year high. Government departments have been told that they are allowed to increase pay in 2022-23 by up to 3 per cent. With the cost of living crisis set to hit Christmas, one might expect to see this year’s illuminations dimmed to cut back on spiralling energy costs. But some householders have now vowed to defy the financial crunch. Patrick Sawerspeaks to some of the festive faithful.
Migrants could be held at Manston for four days
Channel migrants could be held at the Manston processing centre for up to 96 hours, under plans to change the law amid a surge in crossings. The Home Office is facing multiple legal actions for holding migrants at the tented centre in Kent for more than the current statutory limit of 24 hours, after numbers hit 4,000 last month, almost three times its maximum capacity. The number of migrants crossing the Channel this year is estimated to have passed 44,000, compared to 28,500 for last year. Home affairs editor Charles Hymas says ministers are considering using statutory powers to amend the “short term holding facility rules”.
Prince and Princess of Wales met with boos in US
If they heard the boos, they certainly did not show it. The Prince and Princess of Wales were greeted with chants of “USA, USA” as they attended a Celtics basketball game in Boston last night. Amid loud cheers from the 20,000-strong crowd, an unmistakable sound of dissent rang out from some parts of the stadium. Royal correspondent Victoria Ward says the couple appeared unfazed, gamely fixing their smiles. They are hoping that the racism row involving the Prince’s godmother, Lady Susan Hussey, will not overshadow the rest of their US trip ahead of the Earthshot Prize ceremony. In her analysis, Camilla Tominey says the Palace’s instant reaction shows the royals have learnt from past mistakes.
Also in the news this morning
Employment | A back-to-work drive will see the Government set targets to cut the number of jobless Britons, a Cabinet minister has suggested. Mel Stride, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said he would pursue “quick wins” in the battle to boost the labour force. Nick Gutteridge reports that No 10 has become increasingly alarmed by the rise in the number of economically inactive people since the pandemic.
Education | Students to retain Covid exam adjustments next year GCSE pupils will continue to receive help with some exams next year, as officials said children still need extra support owing to the pandemic.The Department for Education has confirmed that teenagers sitting maths and science exams in 2023 will be given equation sheets so they don’t need to memorise formulae.
Property | First timers have to wait five more years to buy a home
First-time buyers face an extra five-year wait to get on the housing ladder compared to in 2020, as the cost of living crisis destroys their hopes of home ownership.The average prospective buyer expects that they will be unable to purchase their first home until they are 37 as it now takes nearly eight years to save a sufficient deposit, according to First Direct, a bank.
BBC | Corporation criticised for lack of new TV programmes
The number of new shows on the BBC has fallen by almost half, with viewers saying that the broadcaster does not take creative risks.In its annual report, Ofcom said that the BBC is increasingly reliant on returning series, many of which have been going for decades.
It also warned that the corporation is failing to connect with working-class audiences, and highlighted declining audiences for its children’s channels in the face of competition from streaming and online services.
The proportion of new programmes fell from 15 per cent in 2020 to just eight per cent last year, the report found.
A team of British accountants has flown to the Bahamas in an attempt to seize control of the bankruptcy of the crypto exchange FTX and its potentially lucrative fees. PwC has sent in senior partners for a potentially “massive job”, according to City sources, in a battle for fees likely to be worth tens, if not hundreds of millions, of dollars. It came as Sam Bankman-Fried, the former boss of the FTX cryptocurrency empire, sought to defend himself in the wake of the $10bn (£8bn) failure.
Here is a selection of articles we think you’ll be interested in today.
A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world.
We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".
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