Bitesize Blighty: February 16, 2018

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  • UK inflation remained at 3 per cent in January, as domestic pressures drove up prices, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics. Inflation hit a five-year high of 3.1 per cent in November, before falling slightly, to 3 per cent, in December. Analysts had expected the headline rate of inflation to fall again, to 2.9 per cent, last month. Last week, the Bank of England signalled it intends to raise interest rates earlier and faster than previously thought in order to tame inflationary pressures resulting from rising labour costs.
  • The government should give £10,000 to every citizen under 55, a report suggests. The Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) said it could pave the way to everyone getting a basic state wage. The idea sees two payments of £5,000 paid over two years, but certain state benefits and tax reliefs would be removed at the same time. The money would help to steer UK citizens through the 2020s, "as automation replaces many jobs, climate change hits and more people face balancing employment with social care", the report said.
  • Prince Harry and fiancée Meghan Markle were given a warm welcome on Tuesday when they arrived in the heart of Edinburgh for the start of their visit to Scotland. Meghan and Harry wrapped up against the cold in winter coats were greeted by Frank Ross, Edinburgh's Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost, who represented the city.
  • The Munich Security Conference opened today with a warning that international order is being weakened by tension between Washington and Pyongyang, strained NATO-Russia ties and the possible unravelling of landmark nonproliferation treaties. Theresa May is to address the conference on Saturday with a pledge to keep Britain’s European Arrest Warrant and Europol links, The Sunday Times says. The Prime Minister is also expected to reassure EU leaders about the UK’s strategic direction post-Brexit.

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