Energy firm E.On cuts gas prices by 5.1% Image copyright Getty Images E.On has announced a 5.1% reduction in its standard gas price for residential customers.
The company said the cut was the price equivalent of £32 off the average annual bill. It is the first time in six months that any of the big six energy firms have cut their prices. Last week both the regulator and the prime minister expressed concerns that prices were not being cut in line with falls in the wholesale cost of gas. E.On also claimed it now has Britain's cheapest fixed energy tariff, with the launch of a one-year dual fuel product with an average price of £783. 'Right step' The news was welcomed by the regulator, Ofgem. "This is a step in the right direction and it is good to see some movement in energy prices for consumers," said Dermot Nolan, the chief executive of Ofgem. "We have consistently called on suppliers to explain why retail prices are not falling and this price cut goes some way towards addressing that challenge. " Cheaper bills.
UK jobless rate at 10-year low but wage growth slows. Image copyright Getty Images The UK unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest rate in more than a decade but wage growth has slowed.
The rate hit 5.1% in the three months to November - its lowest rate since the three months to October 2005, according to the Office for National Statistics. The number of people out of work fell by 99,000 to 1.68 million in the three-month period. Average weekly earnings, including bonuses, were up 2%, the slowest increase since February. The 2% growth in wages was below the 2.1% growth forecast in a Reuters survey. Excluding bonuses, average weekly earnings growth slowed to 1.9% in the three months, the ONS said. Tata Steel announces 1,200 job cuts. Tata Steel has announced nearly 1,200 job losses at its plants in Scunthorpe and Lanarkshire.
Nine hundred jobs will be lost at the firm's plant in Scunthorpe. The remaining 270 jobs will go in Scotland. They are the latest in a series of job losses across the UK steel sector, following news that administrators have been appointed to parts of Caparo Industries' steel operations. The industry blames cheap Chinese imports for a collapse in steel prices. Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will raise the issue with China's president during his UK state visit.
The jobs going at Tata Steel are in part of a division that the company failed to sell earlier this year. Buffeted by collapsing prices and the strong pound, Indian-owned Tata has decided to cut back its UK operations. Tata's steel plant in Scunthorpe, which employs 4,000 people, is one of the largest in the UK. British political system. Back to home page click here Contents To understand fully any country's political system, one needs to understand something of its history.
This is especially true of the United Kingdom because its history has been very different from most other nations and, as a result, its political system is very different from most other nations too. Like its (unwritten) constitution, the British state evolved over time. We probably need to start in 1066 when William the Conqueror from Normandy invaded what we now call England, defeated the Anglo-Saxon King Harold and established a Norman dynasty. By one of those ironical twists of history, when Queen Elizabeth of England died in 1603, she was succeeded by her cousin James VI, King of Scots who promptly decamped from Edinburgh and settled in London as King James I of England while keeping his Scots title and running Scotland by remote control.
This explains why: In classical political theory, there are three arms of the state: Politics news, UK political features, views and analysis - politics.co.uk - Homepage. Economic Headaches Await Next UK Government. The unlucky winner of the UK election on May 7 will face three big economic headaches, focusing on a not-so-holy trinity of deficits in the public sector budget, the balance of payments current account and the finances of UK households.
The new government, undoubtedly another coalition, will need a balanced approach to reducing all these deficits. Too sharp a cut in government and household spending, if not accompanied by an improved balance of payments, could kill the goose expected to lay the golden egg, namely a balanced budget at some time in the future. British exports could be helped along by some green shoots in the euro area, although sterling’s uncompetitive exchange rate vis-à-vis the euro – still well above €1.30 despite weakness in recent days – will reduce the positive effect. A tough job for whoever is in charge. A resilient economy may not be enough.