Weekly Digest – 21 June 2023

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Mortgage help ‘under review’, says Michael Gove

Mortgage rates have been climbing as the Bank of England puts up interest rates to try to control inflation. Help for people struggling with their mortgages is being kept “under review”, cabinet minister Michael Gove has said.

Nearly 4 million working days lost to strikes

From teachers and nurses to civil servants, postal workers and driving instructors, public sector workers have demanded salary increases in response to the ongoing cost of living crisis.  The latest data from the Office for National Statistics has revealed almost 4 million working days have been lost to strike action in the UK in 11 months.

The Ripple Effect of Brexit Tax on UK’s Small Businesses and Consumer Wallets

The Brexit tax, as it’s been colloquially named, is a new levy introduced by the UK government on food imports from the EU. Initiated by the Department for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the tax aims to recover operating costs of government-run border control posts in England. Considering the UK’s substantial daily import volumes, it adds up to a hefty sum, inflating the already bloated costs of importing goods post-Brexit.

HMRC gives offshore customers chance to come clean

HMRC is writing to UK residents named in the leaked Pandora Papers to give them the chance to correct their tax affairs. Read More

Inflation calculator: find out how much UK household price rises affect you

The Office for National Statistics has built a personal inflation calculator to help people see what inflation looks for their household, how prices are changing in your budget, and which items are contributing most to your rising cost of living.

Cutting waiting times for social housing a priority, says Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak said there will not be any extra help given to people who are struggling with mortgage payments as ministers consider prioritising British citizens to cut waiting times for social housing. There are more than one million people waiting for social housing, and under current rules refugees, migrants with visas and people who came on schemes such as Homes for Ukraine are eligible for council homes.

New taskforce to look at the safety risks posed by artificial intelligence

Tech entrepreneur, Nigel Hogarth, has been appointed to lead the UK’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Taskforce. “The Prime Minister has laid out a bold vision for the UK to supercharge the field of AI safety, one that until now has been under-resourced even as AI capabilities have accelerated,” Hogarth said in a statement.

Vodafone and Three merger: What the huge deal actually means for you

Vodafone and Three are merging to create the UK’s largest mobile network. A long-awaited merger of Vodafone and Three will bring “the biggest shake-up in the UK mobile market for over a decade,” experts say – with significant consequences for all anyone in Britain using a device.

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