Bitesized Blighty: November 18, 2016
Buckingham Palace is to undergo a 10-year refurbishment costing the taxpayer £369m, the Treasury has announced. For the first time in 60 years, ageing cables, lead pipes, wiring and boilers will be replaced amid fears about potential fire and water damage. The Master of the Queen’s Household, Tony Johnstone-Burt, said phased works offered the "best value for money" while keeping the palace running. In this light, the queen will remain in her humble abode during the work which is set to begin next April.
A two hour daily commute each day is becoming a reality for many UK workers. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show 3.7 million workers travel for two hours or longer every weekday. The average daily commute lasted 57.1 minutes in 2015, the ONS data suggests. The reason has been blamed on stagnant wages for bulging commuting times, paired with high house prices and rental costs. Employers have been called upon to “not turn a blind eye to this problem” as long commutes eat into family time and can be bad for working lives too.
Scots and Welsh can have say in Brexit court case. The Scottish and Welsh governments are to be allowed to have a say in the Supreme Court battle over how Brexit should be triggered. The Supreme Court confirmed that Wales and Scotland's senior law officers will be allowed to take part in the appeal. Since the UK PM Theresa May said on Friday that work was "on track" to begin the formal process of Brexit by April 2017, the government has been appealing against a High Court ruling that MPs must get a vote on triggering Article 50.