Ultra-rich ask to be taxed
Hundreds of members of the super-rich elite are calling on global governments to “tax us, the ultra rich, now” and use the funds to help billions of people struggling with cost of living crisis. The Disney heiress Abigail Disney and the Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo are among the 205 millionaires and billionaires calling on world leaders meeting in Davos to introduce wealth taxes to help tackle “extreme inequality”. They said “the cost of action is much cheaper than the cost of inaction – it’s time to get on with the job”.
Cop ‘began assaults as teen’
Detectives believe that Met Police officer David Carrick began sexual attacks on women in his teenage years, a decade before joining the force. A woman came forward to accuse Carrick of a sexual assault that dates back 30 years, reported The Times. Police expect even more women to come forward after Carrick pleaded guilty to 80 offences between 2003 and 2020, including 48 rapes against a dozen women. There are now calls for officers who allowed Carrick to remain an officer, despite multiple warnings about his behaviour, to face punishment themselves.
Disruption as nurses walk out
Patients are being warned to expect disruption to services as nurses stage more strikes in England. Around one out of every four hospitals and community services will be affected by the two-day walkouts by Royal College of Nursing members. Under trade union laws, emergency care will be covered during the walkouts from 8am to 8pm. As bitter pay disputes remain unresolved, RCN has announced that two further, bigger strikes will be held next month, and the GMB union is expected to announce further ambulance worker strike dates this afternoon.
Tories ban ‘levelling up’
Boris Johnson’s flagship levelling up policy has been the victim of a “mercy killing”, said The Times. Tory MPs in key marginal seats have been told to avoid the use of the phrase because no one knows what it means. Instead, those at risk of losing their seats have been advised by party staff to use phrases such as “stepping up”, “gauging up” or “enhancing communities”. Another MP said they were told to talk about “difficult decisions” rather than “tough decisions”.
Supermarket brand prices soar
The cost of supermarket budget brands rose 20.3% in December, according to a survey. This meant that shoppers reliant on supermarkets’ budget ranges “bore the brunt of food price inflation in the run-up to Christmas”, as supermarkets’ luxury ranges rose 12.6% and the price of branded items went up 12.5%. The biggest individual price rise tracked by Which was Quaker Oat So Simple Simply Apple (8x33g) at Asda, which increased 188% from £1 to £2.88 on average between December 2021 and 2022.
Social distancing ‘caused persistent coughs’
Coughs that are lasting longer than usual may be the result of social distancing of recent years, said a leading GP. Noting that the current round of respiratory infections seems to be lasting longer than normal, professor Kamila Hawthorne, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, told PA that “most of the public have been socially isolated during the last two winters and this appears to have reduced their resistance to infections” so “in some cases, it may be a matter of picking up one infection after another”.
Thunberg detained in Germany
Greta Thunberg was detained briefly by police at a protest in western Germany. The climate activist was among those protesting to stop the abandoned village of Lützerath from being demolished for the expansion of a coal mine. Police said the Swede was held after a group “rushed towards the ledge” of the Garzweiler 2 mine. On Saturday, Thunberg called the expansion of the mine a “betrayal of present and future generations.”
Pressure over EU laws bonfire
The government is under pressure from opposition and Conservative MPs over plans to allow EU-era laws to elapse. Currently, thousands of laws are due to expire automatically after December unless specifically kept or replaced. However, critics are concerned that important legislation could lapse by accident and Labour is calling for the deadline to be extended to 2026, so rules on everything from airline compensation, toy safety, transporting animals, to equal treatment for part-time employees can be retained.
Cake in the office ‘like passive smoking’
The head of Britain’s food watchdog has said that taking cake into the office should be seen as damaging to your colleagues in the same way as passive smoking. “If nobody brought in cakes into the office, I would not eat cakes in the day, but because people do bring cakes in, I eat them,” said Professor Susan Jebb, chairwoman of the Food Standards Agency. “Now, OK, I have made a choice, but people were making a choice to go into a smoky pub.”
Grey hair jibes ‘aren’t discrimination’
A banker who was nicknamed “Christine Lagarde” has lost a £4.6m discrimination claim. Elisabeth Maugars, who earned an annual salary of £295,000 at the London office of Deutsche Bank in 2015, said that she was the victim of “a culture of sexism and ageism” and bullying by colleagues before being made redundant. However, a judge ruled that taunts about grey hair were merely “part of the irritation of day-to-day office life”.