HomeLatest News & UpdatesBritain unveils cost-of-living budget as mass strikes hit nation IV News
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Britain unveils cost-of-living budget as mass strikes hit nation IV News

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London, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 15th Mar, 2023 ) :Britain on Wednesday unveiled a new cost-of-living budget, including more help with rising energy bills, but the government plans to stick to rising public sector wage demands as the country endures new strike wave.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt delivers his tax and spending plan to parliament from 1230 GMT, as teachers, junior doctors, civil servants, BBC journalists and drivers on the London Underground line the final day of mass walkouts.

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Public and private sector workers show little sign of ending strike action that began last year when high inflation eroded the value of wages.

Inflation in the UK is still above 10 percent.

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The government said on Wednesday it would extend a subsidy on energy bills for another three months after the invasion of oil and gas producer Russia in Ukraine, then expanded.

“Continuing to keep energy bills down is part of our plan to help hard-working families with the cost of living and halve inflation this year,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the conservative government has flagged increased budgets for childcare and other proposals aimed at encouraging parents, over 50 and others back into the labor market.

It looks set to fill 1.1 million vacancies – partly due to a shortage of EU workers following Brexit and a record number of people classified as long-term sick.

The finance minister is expected to announce that workers can put more tax-free money into their private pensions, even if many do not have the disposable income to do so.

“Reports of senior doctors taking early retirement due to the impact of pension tax cuts… have undoubtedly been of particular concern to the government given the already strained health system in the wake of the pandemic,” said Tom Selby, AJ’s Head of Retirement Policy. bell

In neighboring France, the Senate voted over the weekend to approve highly unpopular reforms to the country’s pension system.

The main measure is an increase in the minimum retirement age to 64 from 62, which many consider unfair to people who started working young.

Britain’s retirement age of 66 will rise before the end of the decade, meaning longer waits to access the state pension. A private pension is available at an older age.

Along with wage concerns, healthcare workers protest overwork caused by labor shortages.

A spokesman for Sunak said the government wanted to work with unions to achieve “fair and equitable” wage increases.

“But we’ve been clear that we want to see strike action end before we do that.” Hunt has insisted the government must rein in spending after debt soared at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The National Federation of Education threatened on Wednesday to tighten measures if the government did not put “money on the table”.

“Unfortunately, ministers do not seem interested in giving their own staff a fair pay rise to help them through the cost of living crisis and beyond,” it added as schools closed across the country.

Other budget plans already unveiled include an extra 5 billion ($6.1 billion) for defense over the next two years, with a focus on nuclear deterrence and the replacement of spent munitions.

The UK has also announced a 20-year plan to capture carbon and commit to nuclear power as it bolsters energy supplies and aims for a net-zero economy by mid-century.

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