Your Saturday UK Briefing: Sunak Meets NHS Nursing Grievances


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So far, 2023 is so familiar. Strikes are crippling the transportation network, the NHS is struggling to find beds for Covid and flu patients and union boss Mick Lynch is calling for coordinated action to maximize future disruption.

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Rishi Sunak called a last-minute NHS summit at Downing Street Saturday to discuss emergency, primary and social care. He’s under pressure from fellow Conservatives to make a more generous pay offer to end strikes by nurses and ambulance drivers even as junior doctors threaten to join in. And on Monday, union leaders are expected to meet with the ministers to discuss the ongoing train strikes.

Labour’s Pat McFadden told the Bloomberg UK Politics podcast that he wants the government to negotiate and won’t put a figure on how big a pay rise nurses deserve. 

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The disruptions meant the City of London felt more like the week before New Year’s than after. That’s not helping pubs and restaurants, already cutting back opening hours as staff shortages, high energy costs and wider inflationary pressures take their toll.

Temperatures continue to be mild, helping UK households reduce their gas consumption last month. If higher energy prices have you looking to downsize, house prices are on track to drop for the first year since 2011, with an 8% decline, Halifax said.Retail is one bright spot as the December strikes failed to ruin Christmas, Katie Linsell writes. Figures from Tesco, Sainsbury and M&S next week will indicate whether the resilience shown by Next and Boots was replicated elsewhere.

Today is expected to be one of the busiest days for booking holidays, so you might want to consider these 21 hotspots for 2023. That snowboarding trip to Europe might have to wait though — the warmest January in years (following the Britain’s hottest year ever) has melted much of the snow. And if you were expecting to including China in your list of destinations, you should read this first.

Have a great weekend.


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