Potential increase in price of Christmas products worries British consumers

With the holidays approaching, many wonder how the decreasing pound will affect their shopping. Experts seem to be confident that, although there is an increase on the general price, consumers will not be affected.

The UK is a country that heavily relies on imported goods. With the decrease of the pound compared to the dollar and the euro, this might affect the price of the usual good that are bought and consumed around Christmas.

According to the Telegraph, foreign holidays, which are quite common at this time of the year, will also increase in price.

Professor of Economics at University College London, Dr. Antonio Cabrales, says:

“For what I’ve seen, the full impact of the devaluation hits hardest two years after the process has started. We are only two months in, so the full effect won’t be seen yet.”

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Image from: Pixabay

The award-winning economics journalist for the Independent, Mr. Hamish McRae, says:

“I would expect to see a little more caution, but there is no evidence yet. And the unusual thing about British consumer is that if they have money they will go spend it. We spend nearly 70% of our GDP as consumers. We also have the highest proportion of retail sales are online, which means that we are also doing very sharp price comparisons.”

 

A possible solution to the issue is to buy national goods, which will not have a very increased price.

However, experts seem to be optimistic about the situation, and the majority of consumers seem to still be comfortable with the current price of Christmas products.

 

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Scarlett Moffatt crowned new Queen of the jungle

Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffat has been crowned this years winner of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and she is set to earn up to £1 million after her appearance on the show as ITV and Channel 4 are keen to snap her up.

The newly crowned queen is preparing for the release of her new fitness DVD, “Scarlett’s super slim me plan”, which is due to hit the shelves Boxing Day.

The 26 year old from County Durham worked as a student disability officer but became famous from her one-liners and witty commentary on Channel 4’s popular programme Gogglebox. It is not yet confirmed whether or not Scarlett and her family will continue with the show and produces have been reluctant to comment.

Support for Scarlett has been constant throughout her 24 days in the jungle and experts say her likability is down to her honesty.

There are still claims that the hit ITV show is a fix with people claiming that Scarlett was set up to win as she received more coverage than any other contestants in the jungle.

The suspicions weren’t helped when the official I’m a Celebrity Twitter account posted a tweet that appeared to bolster support for her.

The show still managed to rack up 11.4 million viewers for the final.

 

Former Green Party leader wins the Austrian presidential elections

 

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Alexander Van der Bellen

Alexander Van der Bellen, former head of the Greens, has won the Austrian presidential elections.

This vote was a rerun of May’s elections. The results showed that Mr Van der Bellen narrowly won, but postal vote irregularities were found and undermined the credibility of the process.   

The margin in May of 30,000 votes has been increased by ten times.

The vote comes after anti-establishment sentiment has occurred following the victory of Donald Trump in the American President-elections and the UK’s vote to leave the EU. That is why, this election is believed to be a symbol of how well populism develops in Europe.

Referring to the country’s flag, he said a “red-white-red signal of hope and change, a red-white-red signal today goes from Austria to all the capitals of the European Union.

“Finally, you know, I will try to be an open-minded, a liberal-minded and first of all a pro-European federal president of the Republic of Austria.”

The new president is a 72 years old economics professor.

His immigration policy represents his wishes for a “liberal, cosmopolitan Austria”.

He commented on Trump’s campaign style that the sexist attacks were “unacceptable”.

His rival Norbert Hofer expressed sadness after the result has been announced. The post, however, is only ceremonial in Austria.

 

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Norbert Hofer

 

He wrote on Facebook:

“I would have loved to look after Austria. I congratulate Alexander Van der Bellen to his success and ask all Austrians to stick together. We are all Austrians, no matter what we decided today. Long live our home Austria.”

Both candidates have been very active on social media during the election process.

 

He is a 45 years old aeronautical engineer.

Hofer is not a Trump’s supporter, but he has “high hopes of improved relations with Russia”.

Full official results are expected today once postal ballots have been counted. Almost 6.5 million Austrians were eligible to vote.

Trump uses Twitter to take aim at China

President-elect Donald Trump used Twitter to suggest further tensions with China, just days after he seemingly re-ignited relations with Taiwan.

Trump criticised China for devaluing it’s own currency and for taxing American products entering the US.

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This comes just days after Trump was criticised for contacting Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen.

US severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan back in 1979, after tactically pledging diplomatic support to the People’s Republic of China. Officially, the US supports the idea of one China and that Tawain is part of China.

Vice-president elect Mike Pence denies that the call signifies a shift in US-China relations, suggesting it was merely a “courtesy” call.

However, Trumps latest tweets suggest there could be yet more tension between the two nations.

Both China and Taiwan claim to be owner of some or all of the key trade route of the Chinese red sea and will be keen to protect their rights there.

British ‘Santa’ worker stabbed to death in Finland

The 26-year-old Scottish female, who worked for a ‘Santa Safari’ tour, was found dead in the village of Kuttanen in Finland on Saturday.

Her boyfriend, who allegedly fled the incident on a dog sled, was found in -30 degree snow and taken to hospital.  The male is currently in Police custody under suspicion of murdering his girlfriend.

A spokesperson from the Santa Safari tour’s commented:

“We  are all in shock from this tragic news and our thoughts go out to her family.Our team is working closely with the Finnish Police and relevant authorities to support the investigation that is now under way.”

Scottish police have been alerted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the death of a national.

Floods near Angel Station after water main burst

In the early morning hours of Monday, a water burst caused flooding in Charlton Place and surrounding streets. Firefighters from Islington, Dowgate and several other stations across London are at the scenery evacuating  residents and leading the water into nearby canals.

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Firefighter at the scenery

At about 5:30 am homeowners were woken up by the masses running down their street and several had to leave their home. Trevor Turner, who lives close to the flooded area, told the BBC: “I woke up at 05:30 with essentially a river flowing down Charlton Place”.

He was not the only one who woke up to a surprise this morning. Mary, another resident, reported to the BBC: “I thought it was torrential rain so I put my head out the window and saw it was a torrential flood instead and then several policemen who were knocking on doors on the other side and said to evacuate.”

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Water pouring out of a sewer

The floods caused some severe damages to home and properties owned by residents. The flow of water has been stopped by now and a spokesperson for Thames Water said that they are now “planning how best to repair it with as little disruption as possible.”

The usually busy roads are to be avoided by motorists and nine bus routes had to be diverted.

 

More updates to follow…

Segregation in Britain reaching “worrying levels”

Segregation has reached very high levels, a review into opportunity and integration shows.

The Casey Review shows that women in some communities are denied “even their basic rights as British residents”.

This 18-month review was commissioned by former prime minister David Cameron as a way for government to tackle extremism.

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The report further reveals that people from different backgrounds got on well with each other in general, but true community cohesion is generally missing.

Dame Louise Casey’s review also shows “high levels of social and economic isolation in some places, and cultural and religious practices in communities that are not only holding some of our citizens back but run contrary to British values and sometimes our laws.”

The official review warns that Muslims increasingly do not identify themselves as being British.

It warns that ethnic isolation is being experienced at a young age, and identifies 511 schools where more than half of students are from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds.

In order to improve the situation, the reports makes 12 recommendations.

  1. A programme of projects to boost cohesion, such as local IT courses and sport activities for children;
  2. Councils should regularly collect statistics on hate crime or deficiencies in English;
  3. Government and councils should share their approaches to tackling segregation;
  4. Schools should promote British values to help build integration, tolerance and citizenship;
  5. A review of the “rights and obligations” of immigrants likely to settle in the UK;
  6. New immigrants could have to swear “an oath of integration with British values and society”;
  7. Funding for school projects that encourage children of different backgrounds to mix;
  8. On top of English language classes for adults, special classes to tackle any “cultural barriers” to a person’s employment prospects;
  9. More funding for local English language classes and a review of whether courses are reaching people who need them;
  10. Councils should investigate whether their housing policies help or hinder integration;
  11. Better checks when children are removed from mainstream education;
  12. New oath for public office-holders pledging “tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”…

Here you can listen to more points which the review highlights:

“We need to talk about the impacts of immigration in a level-headed way, as well as to provide more help for new migrants to integrate and more help for local people to adapt to changes and new pressures in their communities,” the report suggests. The review also shows that the Government should consider new standards to ensure there are no divisions.