Why not request our brochure today?      Or give us a call 020 3007 6002

| ES IT
Subscribe
Business

UK wage growth failed to keep up with the high cost of living between October and December

   News / 15 Feb 2022

Published: 15 February 2022
Location: London, UK

By Suzanne Evans, Director, Political Insight


UK wage growth failed to keep up with the high cost of living between October and December, officials figures show. Wages rose but when taking inflation into account, pay showed a 0.8% fall, said the Office for National Statistics. Despite this, the economy continued to recover strongly, with unemployment falling to 4.1% and job vacancies hitting a fresh record high. Unemployment is now "only fractionally" above where it was before the pandemic.
 
Petrol prices climbed to a fresh record high yesterday, as average prices rose to 148.02p a litre for the first time ever. Diesel also reached a new high of 151.57p last Thursday. The RAC said the price of filling a 55-litre family car was now an "eye-watering" £81.41.
 
London’s Tube and bus prices will go up around 4.8% on 1 March, the biggest annual increase in Transport for London (TfL) fares since 2009, when a single fare increased from £1 to £1.20. The daily cap — the maximum amount those using buses pay in one day when using London buses — will increase by 30p to £4.95. London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said he has been forced into introducing the price rise by the government "refusing to properly fund TfL".
 
Some buy now, pay later (BNPL) firms have agreed to refund customers’ late payment fees after the financial watchdog identified potentially unclear contract terms and conditions. Clearpay, Laybuy, and Openpay have all agreed to voluntarily refund clients who were charged late payment fees in specific circumstances, Yahoo Finance UK says. The Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) said there was a potential risk of harm to consumers because of the way some firms’ terms had been drafted and that refunds would be paid where a customer has cancelled their entire order but have been charged a late payment fee for a loan repayment after the loan should have been cancelled.
 
BP has reiterated its commitment to its Russian oil and gas business despite rising tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine, chief executive Bernard Looney said yesterday. There have been fears among investors that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would spark severe economic sanctions, leading to supply constraints from the commodity-rich nation. Sharecast News notes that oil prices surged overnight as stock markets fell. BP is the largest foreign investor in Russia and holds 19.75% of the country's national oil company Rosneft. It also holds stake in several other oil and gas projects in the country.
 
JD Sports and Footasylum have been fined a combined £4.7m by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for breaching the rules around a merger blocked by the watchdog. The CMA said yesterday that during two meetings last year, JD Sports chief executive Peter Cowgill and Footasylum CEO Barry Bown exchanged commercially sensitive information and then failed to alert the watchdog, claiming that they could not remember what had been discussed, and failing to provide any documentation about the meetings - no notes, no agendas, no emails and poor phone records - which the CMA claimed were deleted. JD Sports bought smaller rival Footasylum in 2019 for £90m. However, in November, the CMA ordered JD to sell Footasylum after an in-depth investigation identified competition concerns. It said at the time that over the course of its investigation, it found that JD Sports was "by far and away" the closest alternative for shoppers at Footasylum.
 
The Competition and Markets Authority has provisionally cleared Sony Music's $430m acquisition of independent record label AWAL. The watchdog had initially raised concerns that the acquisition could lead to increased prices or a worse deal for artists. However, it said on Friday that it has concluded the deal does not substantially reduce competition in the UK and may not be expected to do so in the future.
 
The Independent reports that cleaners at a London hospital have launched a campaign against the Health Corporation of America (HCA) and Compass Group, to whom HCA had outsourced cleaning contracts. The workers claim they were subjected to bullying and harassment when they spoke out about managers who failed to give them proper training or tell them which rooms had Covid patients in them and want better pay and conditions. HCA claimed millions of pounds in furlough money while collecting £190m in NHS contracts. Its revenues hit $51bn in 2020 but it paid key workers in its London hospital just £9.36 per hour - substantially below the London Living Wage of £11.05.
 
Studio Retail, which counts Mike Ashley as one of its largest investors, called in the administrators yesterday after failing to secure an urgent £25m loan to help sell surplus stock. Requests for additional funding, which the company "believed was sufficient to enable it to sell through the stock to customers", were rejected by its lending banks. 1,000 jobs are at risk.
 
NatWest Group has confirmed it is to close another 32 branches, blaming a continuing shift in customer activity towards online. The company said 21 of the sites operated under its NatWest brand and 11 were RBS branches including the one within its City of London headquarters. It did not expect the move to result in many job losses, saying that 12 were at risk as most of those affected would be moved to other branches.
 
UK employers are planning the biggest pay hikes of the last decade, but wages for workers will still be below the rate of inflation, a new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) says. Despite warnings from the Bank of England (BoE) about an overheating labour market and rampant wage gains, the CIPD found employers expect to award pay rises of 3% in 2022. Some 70% of employers plan to recruit in the first quarter of this year, while 11% plan to make redundancies. 46% of UK employers report having job vacancies that are hard-to-fill, with 33% expecting these problems to be "significant".
 
London listed Audioboom found favour with investors yesterday after reports that Amazon and Spotify are exploring a potential takeover bid. Shares in the company, which is backed by property tycoon Nick Candy, climbed as much as 20% after opening, its highest since listing in December 2005.
 
British confectionery firm Swizzels Matlow, best known for its Love Hearts, Drumstick and Parma Violets sweets, is set to open a new 158,000 sq ft facility in Middlewich, Cheshire. The historic manufacturer's original factory in New Mills will remain open.
 
Pharmaceutical companies produced over 10 billion doses of Covid vaccines but a mere 4% of that was supplied to low-income countries according to Amnesty International, which says global promises of equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines were falling flat as pharma giants prioritised wealthy countries and monopolised technology.


Why Media is an award-winning design, marketing, digital communications and PR agency offering tailored solutions to companies on a global scale. We have extensive experience in delivering design and marketing services to a spectrum of companies including professional services, property companies, financial institutions and shopping centres. We have offices in London UK, Hertford UK, Finestrat ES & Brescia IT.


Marketing Contact

Name:  Claire White
E-Mail:  claire@whymedia.com
Telephone:  01992 586 507