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Global Economy

The British patient

Britain is suffering from the highest inflation among the G7 industrialized countries, in July it was 10.1 percent – the highest value in 40 years, with a forecast towards 20 percent. The Labor opposition speaks of a national emergency in view of rising prices. Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey warns the country could slide into the longest recession since the global financial crisis.

The new government will have to boldly inject a lot of money here, otherwise social peace could be endangered. Clever housewife tips from outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson that investing £20 in a new, faster-heating tea kettle, which would save £10 a year on energy costs, were seen on social media as confirmation of how little the government understood the seriousness of the situation have understood so far.

"Simply priceless"

A recent survey shows that the sharp rise in gas and electricity prices is already taking almost half of the people in Great Britain to their financial limits. 45 percent of those surveyed stated that they could no longer afford the energy price cap that came into effect in October, which has risen to the equivalent of around 4100 euros a year for an average household.

Almost 20 percent say they now skip meals. Consumer protection expert Martin Lewis pointed out on the BBC that the price cap for energy costs, which will apply from October, accounts for 37 percent of the state pension; in the case of welfare recipients it is an even larger part of the money available to them. alarmism? Lewis dismissed the accusation: "I say: This is a disaster, simply because it is one. Simply priceless."

Before a strike autumn

Unions complain that while inflation and prices are rising, wages have not risen at the same rate. Great Britain slides into an autumn strike. Labor disputes have been smoldering in a wide variety of industries for months.

"Decent pay, now," are demands from striking dockworkers at Felixstowe, the world's largest seaport, and from refuse collectors in Edinburgh, where rats roamed the city among piles of rotting rubbish during the famous cultural festival in August. Again and again there are work stoppages at the post office, and the country is paralyzed for days due to recurring rail strikes.

It also affects the legal system

This week, the public defenders in court are also going on strike. According to the professional association, newcomers in particular would earn so little after lengthy training that they could hardly make a living from it. Thousands of procedures are likely to be delayed further.

As early as April, the backlog of legal cases was around 60,000. Meanwhile, ballot votes on strikes are ongoing or are imminent among health workers, teachers' unions, government employees and bus drivers.

An ailing healthcare system

A particular pain point is the NHS health service. Health Minister Steve Barclay was recently verbally abused by a passerby during an interview on the street because ambulances often have to wait hours because of overcrowded clinics before they can admit patients: "People had to die and you did nothing!" He was snapped at.

And it's not just emergencies that cause dangerous delays. Nationwide, almost seven million people are waiting for so-called "non-urgent" treatments, such as hip operations, but cancer therapies are also being delayed.

In addition, there is a lack of 100,000 nurses in clinics and more than 4000 general practitioners – among other things as a result of Brexit.

A long list

And these are just a few of the domestic political construction sites awaiting the new government. Urgently needed infrastructure measures in a country that went into "meltdown" on a daily basis during the heat wave in July, investments in climate-friendly energy, combating the housing shortage and increased crime, a response to the increasing number of refugees on the English Channel and improving educational opportunities, and the harmonization of living conditions in the individual parts of the country – just a few other points that are on the to-do list.

In terms of foreign policy, Britain is one of Ukraine's biggest supporters on the front line, with more and more money and weapons, and that too has to be financed. And as far as the simmering dispute with the European Union over the unresolved Brexit issues surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol is concerned, the government must also decide promptly whether the current situation is favorable to risk a trade war with the EU.

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