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Under-34s have 'worst economic prospects in years'

People under the age of 34 have the worst economic prospects for several generations, a new report has claimed - hit by falls in income and employment, less access to good housing and jobs and deepening poverty.

Young people have been hit hardest, the report found Credit: PA

Research by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that young people faced the biggest drop across the board, and now face bigger barriers to achieving economic success than they did five years ago.

The negative impact of being poor was much greater for white people than ethnic groups, the report added, with white boys from poor families suffering a combination of disadvantages.

TUC union general secretary Frances O'Grady urged the government to take action.

This report should be wake-up call to ministers. Hiking up university and college fees and excluding young people from the new higher minimum wage rate is not the way to build a fair and prosperous Britain. It is the blueprint for a lost generation.

Without better employment and training opportunities many young people will continue to be shut out of the recovery.

– Frances O'Grady, TUC


'Positive' economy stats 'ignore growing income inequality'

Positive reports on the UK's growing economy mask a large and growing inequality in income - with stark warnings of more and more low-paid jobs leading to a "race to the bottom", according to a new report.

Reports focusing just on GDP growth mask a growing income inequality, the report says Credit: PA

A study by the New Economics Foundation found that while employment rates were on the rise, more people were stuck in insecure and poorly-paid positions.

The thinktank has now called on the government to measure the economy in terms beyond just Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

It is a very mixed picture, and very different from the headline messages we hear from the Chancellor that the sun is shining on Britain when you just look at the growth rate pointing upwards.

Why do we want economic growth? It's to make sure we can have things like a good job - that is something we almost all aspire to if not for ourselves then for our children.

We don't just want an economy that just produces the lowest quality, race to the bottom job - that any job will do however insecure or poorly paid.

We should have an economy that aims to produce good work for people. We suggest we need to look at the quality of our growth.

If we are just growing for growth's sake but not producing good jobs then our economy is not doing as well as it could be.

– Juliet Michaelson, report leader

Aldi announces pay rise for staff across UK and Ireland

Budget supermarket Aldi will increase staff wages to above the National Living Wage from next February, bosses have announced.

From then, workers will be paid a minimum of £8.40, and those in London will get £9.45 an hour.

Aldi has announced a pay rise for staff Credit: PA

Employees in the Republic of Ireland will also get a raise, up to €11.50.

Aldi said it would not need to raise prices to pay for the move, as it already pays all store assistants at least £8.15 an hour and a country-wide average of more than £9.

The success of Aldi in the UK and Ireland has been driven by the commitment, hard work and ambition of our employees and we will continue to maintain our leading position on pay.

– Matthew Barnes, Aldi UK and Ireland CEO

It is the latest in a string of pay rises for supermarket staff across the country.

Morrisons recently said it would increase wages from £6.83 an hour to £8.20, while Lidl announced similar changes.

It puts the supermarket salaries above the National Living Wage announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his summer budget, which will see all workers aged 25 and up paid at least £7.20 from next April, rising to £9 in 2020.

BBA welcomes 'customer focused' bank proposals

The British Bankers' Association has welcomed the competition watchdog's proposals to make it easier for consumers to switch bank accounts.

Speaking to ITV News after the Competition and Marketing Authority published its preliminary recommendations into how to make the sector more competitive, Anthony Browne, chief executive of the BBA, said it was good the recommendations were "customer focused."

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