Wage squeeze will leave average worker almost £13,000 worse off, Sunak warned

from The Guardian:

The biggest wage squeeze in British economic history will leave the average worker almost £13,000 a year worse off by the middle of the 2020s, Rishi Sunak has been warned.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), the UK’s leading tax and spending thinktank, said an unprecedented two-decade hit to earnings would leave average household disposable income 42% lower than it would have been had wages grown at pre-2008 financial crisis rates.

The 2010s were the weakest decade for real wage growth since the Napoleonic wars, but the IFS said the stagnation was expected to continue. By 2026, it said average household earnings would be £30,800, compared with £43,700 if wages had risen at the same pace as in the two decades before the banking crisis.

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Most Americans want major overhauls to the US economy, political system, and healthcare, survey finds

from Business Insider:

As the postpandemic economy starts to take shape, most Americans appear to be hopeful it’ll look quite different from its current state.

A majority of Americans surveyed in February indicated they wanted major changes or complete reforms to much of the way the US operates, according to a Pew Research Center report, which included surveys of people in more than a dozen of the world’s advanced economies. Eighty-five percent of surveyed American adults said they wanted an overhaul of the country’s political systems, while 66% said they wanted major changes to the US economy. Just over three-fourths of respondents said there needed to be major reform to the country’s healthcare systems.

The Americans surveyed were generally more dissatisfied with the government than residents of other advanced economies who were surveyed. Desires to change political systems were higher only in Spain and Italy, with 86% and 89% of respective residents wanting major overhauls.

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Sri Lanka’s economy seen as a ‘ticking time bomb’

from Nikkei Asia:

COLOMBO — Sri Lanka’s COVID-stricken economy is being likened to a ticking time bomb that could go off at any moment as foreign reserves plummet, the cost of living rises and the central bank carries on printing money.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka printed over 130 billion rupees ($640 million) in October alone, but that is just the iceberg’s tip. From December 2019 to August 2021, Sri Lanka’s money supply increased by 2.8 trillion rupees — a massive 42%.

Much of the money went to pay the salaries of 1.2 million state sector employees, and to cover pensions that each year cost the government a thumping one trillion rupees. Unlike the private sector, which suffered salary cuts during the COVID-19 pandemic, state employees carried on at full pay despite the empty public coffers. Money was also printed with a view to keeping interest rates low.

Though it has generally been characterized as printing money, most of the increase in the overall money stock — or “broad money” as it is termed — since the end of 2019 is made up of government borrowings from the central bank and commercial banks.

Addressing a press conference earlier this month, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal defended the decision to print money on the grounds that it was needed to maintain stability.

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Africa to press climate finance demands at COP26: negotiator

from Modern Ghana: 

African countries will use next week’s COP summit to demand rich nations honour and then deepen their pledges to fund the fight against climate change, a top negotiator said Thursday.

The UN meeting in Scotland hosts a two-day summit of world leaders from Monday, with organisers warning that the chances of averting runaway climate change are dwindling.

For wealthy economies, the big focus will be on cuts in carbon emissions to try to restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

This is the safer of two goals set down by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for preventing worse drought, floods, storms and rising seas.

But for African countries, the biggest issue is money — funds to help struggling economies curb their emissions and also adapt to the wrenching impact of climate change.

“We have been waiting for more than 10 years for the promise of $100 billion per year,” Tanguy Gahouma-Bekale, chair of the African Group of countries at the climate talks, told AFP.

It was in 2009 that rich countries first pledged to muster $100 billion annually, from all sources, to help poorer nations, a target that would be achieved by 2020.

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