5 Things You Need To Know (18/10/17)
Welcome to our daily update, where we summarise the key talking points from the last 24 hours.
1. Pay and unemployment
Average earnings excluding bonuses enjoyed a rise of 2.1% in the three months to August, the Office for National Statistics has reported. However, this is below the cost of living, with inflation at 3% in September 2017.
On a more positive note for the government, unemployment has dropped by 52,000 to 1.44 million.
2. Universal Credit
Theresa May has said she has listened to criticism of charges applied to phonecalls to the Universal Credit helpline – and changes will be made.
The helpline will be free within weeks, and Labour have claimed that this is due to pressure they have put on the government.
However, speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Jeremy Corbyn continued to criticise the system, saying “The fundamental problems of universal credit remain – the six week wait, rising indebtedness, rent arrears and evictions.”
3. FCA Study
A study by the Financial Conduct Authority has said that up to 4.1 million people are in financial difficulty due to missed domestic and credit bills. It estimates that 26.5 million people could be vulnerable to financial harm.
4. UK traffic
Traffic jams in the UK were at their worst in November 2016, with 170,000 traffic jams across the country, traffic analyst Inrix has reported. There are fears that the same pattern could be repeated this year, with Inrix saying “The risk of ice on the road can lead to slower moving traffic and people are more inclined to take shelter in vehicles over cycling or walking in cold snaps.”
Learn more about yesterday’s inflation news with our latest video.