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The Chancellor’s Autumn Spending Review and Budget is tomorrow

   News / 26 Oct 2021

Published: 26 October 2021
Location: London, UK

By Suzanne Evans, Director, Political Insight


The government is not doing enough to train workers for the jobs needed to reach its net zero goals, MPs sitting on the Environmental Audit Committee have concluded. Despite announcements promising millions of pounds for green jobs initiatives, the government has yet even to define what a "green job" is and how the vacancies are to be filled, they said. In its report - Green Jobs - the committee said that the work carried out by the Green Jobs Taskforce was a good foundation, but a "detailed plan" was needed to show "how these ambitions will be delivered". Recommendations were made to include environmental sustainability within the National Curriculum and A-level courses and that a module on sustainability should be included in every apprenticeship and T Level course. The Net Zero Strategy claims to support up to 440,000 jobs by 2030 but the MPs said that achieving this depends on having a "skilled green workforce in the economy to deliver these".
 
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened an investigation into Motorola Solutions, focussed on concerns that the company is both the owner of the existing 'Airwave' radio network used by UK emergency services, and is a key supplier in the planned new 'Emergency Services Network' (ESN). The CMA said this means the market for the supply of the mobile radio network used by all emergency services in Britain may not be working well, resulting in a more expensive service for customers and, ultimately, the taxpayer. It said Motorola gained its dual role by purchasing the Airwave network in February 2016, two months after it had entered a contract with the government to provide software for ESN. The merger was cleared by the CMA at the time, in part because of the general expectation that the Airwave network would be shut down by 2019.
 
Petrol prices have hit an average of 142.94p a litre, their highest level to date, according to the RAC motoring organisation. Fuel prices were last around this level in April 2012. It is now £15 more expensive to fill up an average family car than a year earlier, said the RAC, which called the new high a "dark day for drivers".
 
The UK housing market is on track to record its strongest year since 2007 both in terms of sales volumes and house price inflation, but London is lagging, according to property search website Zoopla. Zoopla’s latest house price index shows the capital registered the lowest house price inflation, up 2.3%, and is the only region in the UK where growth is below the five-year average. Wales continues to top the house price growth table, with current inflation tracking over 10%.
 
Whitbread is to shell out an additional £12-13m on higher rates of pay and £10m in retention bonuses to try to combat what it calls “persistent staff shortages”. The Premier Inn owner said recovery during the six months to 26 August had been better than expected and that there had been strong recovery in demand since 17 May when Covid restrictions were eased to allow leisure overnight stays.
 
Heathrow Airport has released Q3 results saying passenger numbers recovered to 28% - and cargo to 90% - of pre-pandemic levels, says Sky News. Speaking later on the BBC's Today programme, boss John Holland-Kaye warned air traffic may not recover completely until at least 2026 despite signs of huge pent-up demand for travel. He said Britain's busiest airport was still making losses despite international travel rules easing and hit out at the aviation regulator for limiting a rise in what it charges airlines for using Heathrow.
 
Online travel agent On the Beach has launched legal action against Ryanair in the High Court. It claims the budget airline has tried to prevent it from booking seats on flights on behalf of its customers, as well as making its customers go through costly and onerous check-in procedures. The two sides have previously been at odds over refunds for flights cancelled during the pandemic, the BBC says. Ryanair has yet to comment on the claim, however the Irish airline has said previously that travellers should not make bookings through online travel agents, on the grounds that they could be overcharged, while the airline might be unable to obtain essential customer contract and payment details. It has also accused online agencies of providing it with "fake email addresses and virtual credit cards" to complete bookings. On the Beach describes such allegations as "disparaging and untrue" in its claim, at least where its own services are concerned.
 
A BBC Panorama investigation has found that Coca-Cola sells more than 100 billion throwaway plastic bottles each year, despite pledging to create ‘a world without waste.’
 
Tesla surpassed $1 trillion in market capitalization yesterday after landing its biggest-ever order of 100,000 electric vehicles from rental car company Hertz. Shares in the electric carmaker climbed 12.6% after news of the deal emerged. Tesla has been the world's most valuable carmaker for some time, but brands like Ford and GM make more cars. Previously only Apple, Microsoft, Amazonand Google-owner Alphabet have reached a $1tn valuation.


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