The Roundup – Wednesday 25 July 2012

Hitting the headlines today…

 

Chancellor George Osborne has questions to answer

GDP Fall Deepens Double-Dip Recession

Britain is facing further economic problems as economic output fell by 0.7% between April and June as the UK’s double-dip recession extends into the third quarter of 2012.

A slow down in the construction sector, bad weather, and an extra bank holiday for the Queen’s diamond jubilee are being cited as reasons for the contraction.

Analysts had only expected a 0.2% drop in gross domestic product and were shocked by the actual drop.

Chancellor George Osborne is a man under pressure as his deficit reduction plans have been met with poor economic performance.

Officials at the Office for National Statistics say that the Olympics should provide a boost to economic activity.

Gay Marriage Could Be Legalised In Scotland

The Scottish National Party (SNP) announced plans to introduce gay marriage and the first ceremonies could take place in 2015.

Ministers confirmed that they would bring forward a bill on this issue but have faced staunch opposition from the Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland who fear that this legislation is being rushed and will no protect the beliefs of religious groups.

Scotland’s deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon assured religious groups that they would not be compelled to conduct same-sex marriages.

The UK government is also looking into changing the status of civil ceremonies to allow same-sex couples in England to get married.

PCS call off a major strike

Potentially Damaging Strike Called Off

A strike by Border Agency staff planned for the eve of the Olympic games has been called off at the last minute.

The UK’s largest civil services union, the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union threatened walkouts on Thursday hitting services such as immigration and passport control.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said the decision came after the Home Office announced the decision to hire 1,100 staff including 800 border employees.

But immigration minister Damian Green says that no concessions have been made by the government and the figure of 800 new jobs is not recognised.

GB Football Win Kicks of Olympics

Team GB have kicked off London 2012 with a 1-0 over New Zealand in women’s football.

Stephanie Houghton’s 65th minute free kick put the home team ahead and Team GB held on for the first win of the Games

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