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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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    UK train strikes and energy hikes add to a week of turmoil

    LONDON (AP) – Trains in Britain all but ground to a halt yesterday as coordinated strikes by rail workers added to a week of turmoil caused by soaring energy prices and unfunded tax cuts that roiled financial markets.

    Only about 11 per cent of train services operated across the United Kingdom (UK) yesterday, according to Network Rail.

    Unions said they called the latest in a series of one-day strikes to demand that wage increases keep pace with inflation that is expect-ed to peak at around 11 per cent this month.

    Consumers were also hit with a jump in their energy bills yesterday. Household bills are expected to rise by about 20 per cent, even after the government stepped in to cap prices.

    Prime Minister Liz Truss cited the cost-of-living crisis as the reason she moved swiftly to introduce a controversial economic stimulus programme, which includes GBP45 billion of unfunded tax cuts.

    Concern that the plans would push government debt to unsustainable levels sent the pound tumbling to a record low against the dollar this week and forced the Bank of England to intervene in the bond market.

    “We need to get things done in this country more quickly,” Truss said in The Sun newspaper published yesterday.

    “So I am going to do things differently. It involves difficult decisions and does involve disruption in the short term.”

    Empty platforms are seen at Paddington train station during a 24-hour strike by four transportation trade unions, in London, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Trains in Britain all but ground to a halt Saturday as coordinated strikes by rail workers added to a week of turmoil caused by soaring energy prices and unfunded tax cuts that roiled financial markets. (James Manning/PA via AP)
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