We’ve summarised the top stories of the last week into an easily digestible briefing, so that you can stay up to date on what’s happening around the world. You can subscribe to receive the briefing in your inbox each week.

UK Business & Economics

  1. The government has admitted that the £150 council tax rebate, announced in February, may not arrive for some households until late this September. The scheme began on March 30th, with the aim of reaching all families by the end of April, however this has yet to be achieved.
  2. Sainsbury’s has announced it is investing £500 million into cutting the cost of essential items such as milk, eggs, meat, fruit, and vegetables. This comes after the ONS announced on Monday that the lowest-cost grocery items have not risen faster in price than average food prices.
  3. As energy prices soar, swimming pools are most at risk of closure according to industry officials from UK Active. Leisure centres and schools, amongst many, are struggling to deal with the 150% rise in energy costs of 2022 and a shortage in chlorine.

International Business & Economics

  1. EU Leaders met on Monday 30th to continue discussions over a Russian Oil ban. However, amidst a global cost of living crisis, a further ban on Russian oil could prove extremely damaging for EU economies, especially those reliant on Russian imports such as Hungary.
  2. Christopher Waller, a senior Federal Reserve official, has requested for the US central bank to increase interest rates by another 50 basis points. Waller also mentioned that increasing interest rates should continue until inflation reduces towards the 2% target
  3. On Sunday, Chinese officials announced that businesses could begin to reopen across Shanghai. In order to boost growth, the city has announced a 10,000 yuan stimulus for any individual switching to an electric car this year, alongside opening a new major shopping centre called Xintiandi.
  4. Economists are expecting eurozone inflation to reach a new high of 7.7% when data is announced on Tuesday. This is being put down to the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has lead to rapidly rising energy prices  and global supply chain disruptions.
  5. Brent Crude , the international oil benchmark,  has surpassed $120 per barrel.  This comes at a time when demand is expected to increase over the summer driving season. International embargos on diesel from Russia have contributed towards such rising prices, and whilst the EU is trying to work towards an agreement, a drop in fuel prices seems a distant future. 

UK Politics

  1. Former attorney general, Jeremy White, has become the latest Conservative MP to call on Boris Johnson to resign, with at least another 25 Tory MPs now openly calling for the PM to step down. This comes in light of news that the PM may have attended another party, one not included in Sue Gray’s report, during the first lockdown.
  2. As many as 30 Kurdish asylum seekers are facing deportation to Iraq, despite the Foreign Office warning against all travel to the country due to its danger level. Protests broke out over the issue on Monday in both London and Kurdistan.
  3. The UK has announced a new visa scheme, allowing graduates from the world’s top universities to obtain 2 or 3 year work visas. The government aims to attract the “brightest and best” from a released list of 37 eligible universities.

International Politics

  1. China has begun promoting its Global Security Initiative (GSI), a collection of principles such as non-interference and grudges against US “hegemonism”, with President Xi Jinping speaking to BRICS countries on the 19th.and, since then, gathering support from several countries, ranging from Uruguay to Pakistan.
  2. The mass school shooting in Texas, which saw the deaths of 19 students and 2 teachers, has heated up the long-controversial issue of gun control in the USA. Despite this, gun control reform appears to remain in a stale-mate across states.
  3. An annual global survey of attitudes to democracy revealed a sharp polarisation between western liberal democracies and the rest of the world in terms of their perceptions of Russia. Within Europe, 55% said they were in favour of cutting economic ties with Russia, whereas in Asia the majority of those surveyed were against such an idea.
  4. Senior EU diplomats held a meeting on Sunday to discuss a “compromise plan” that would see the bloc ban Russian oil imports by tankers but allow pipeline imports. An EU summit on Monday and Tuesday will continue discussions on finding a compromise to the oil embargo.
  5. Park Ji-hyun has emerged as the leader of South Korea’s opposition party . The 26 year old is known for her work against Sex-Crimes, and has become the leader of a major party in a country where men hold over 80% of seats in Parliament and over 95% of executive-level positions in publicly traded companies.

Written by Philip Weaver and Rob Webb