Weekly Digest – 11 January 2023

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Rent rates are rising faster than they have in 7 years

Rents rose 4% last year in properties owned by private landlords. A quarter of tenants report that their rent has risen in the past six months.

New energy relief plan for businesses announced

Businesses will receive £5.5bn in scaled-back government support to help them with their energy bills starting in April, after the current scheme ends. The new scheme saves taxpayers £12.5bn.

Blackouts and job losses feared by manufacturers

Almost two-thirds of UK manufacturers fear blackouts this winter due to energy costs. The government is planning to cut financial support for businesses under the new Energy Bill Discount Scheme.

High inflation is here to stay for a while longer says BoE

The Bank of England’s chief economist says that inflation could persist for longer than expected, despite a fall in wholesale energy prices and the economy on the brink of recession.

Plastic cutlery and plates are on their way out

Single-use plastics will soon be banned in England, following similar strategies already in motion in Scotland and Wales. Campaigners welcomed the ban but continue to push for a wider-ranging plastic reduction strategy.

Over a million mortgages are up for renewal this year, and it will be more expensive to renew them

More than 1.4 million fixed-rate mortgage customers face significant hikes to their monthly payments when their deals end this year. According to the ONS, 57% of mortgages coming up for renewal in 2023 are fixed at interest rates below 2%.

Cost of living is expected to rise by more than £2,000 next year

British households are estimated to be halfway through a two-year cost of living crisis, with average incomes likely to fall by more than £2,000 in the year to April 2024. The projection is from the Resolution Foundation think tank.

John Deere will let its customers DIY repairs

Tractor maker John Deere has agreed to allow its US customers to fix their own equipment. Farmers will not be allowed to divulge trade secrets or override safety features or emissions controls or adjust Agricultural Equipment power levels.

BrewDog pays up and admits to looking “dishonest and disingenuous”

The chief executive of BrewDog has paid out almost £500,000 from his own pocket to winners of a bungled “solid gold” beer can promotion. The cans, which were actually mostly brass and only plated in gold, weren’t worth as much as customers expected.

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