Weekly Digest – 10 August 2022

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Former PM campaigns on the cost of living crisis

Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown is warning that people will go hungry and cold this winter, as the cost of living crisis worsens. He says that in his hometown of Fife, he is seeing a level of poverty “that I did not expect to see ever again in my lifetime”.

Who’s going on strike this month

Sky News has put together an explainer to help us keep track of all those going on strike this month. It can be found here.

Only half of councils in England have started making payments to businesses

Almost 18 months after it was launched, about half of English councils have started Carf (the COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund) payments. The £1.5bn additional support package was meant to get extra relief to COVID-hit businesses as quickly as possible.

New green hydrogen plant will power 1300 hydrogen trucks from 2026

ScottishPower has drawn up plans to build a £150m green hydrogen plant at the Port of Felixstowe to power trains, trucks and ships. Demand for the green fuel had stepped up since petrol and diesel prices began to soar last year.

New data illustrates “a tale of two labour markets”

A new report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research found that the highest earners, most of whom work in London’s Square Mile, enjoy annual pay growth of 10%. Meanwhile, the lowest wage earners received just over 1%.

Cash is king again

New figures from the Post Office confirm that they handled £801m in personal cash withdrawals in July, the most since records began five years ago. The 20% jump from last year suggests that people are going back to cash to keep tighter control on their spending.

Fuel prices continue to fall slowly but steadily

The latest figures show that petrol continues to get cheaper. Analysts say that the trend is likely to continue as world oil prices fall and fears around tough economic times ahead weaken demand.

Small Darlington-based fashion house triumphs over Zara

House of Zana does not have to change its name, a tribunal judge confirmed. The small UK fashion designer and retailer went head to head with multi-billion pound Zara, who claimed consumers would be confused by the similarity.

Traffic light system results are murky

The government “does not know” if the COVID travel traffic light system, which changed 10 times between February 2021 and January 2022, worked. The program cost nearly £500m and caused mass confusion for those entering the UK.

Qantas executives asked to work as baggage handlers

In an attempt to remedy a severe labour shortage, Australian airline Qantas has asked senior executives to step in. They will be loading and unloading bags as well as driving luggage transportation vehicles for three months.

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