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19 July 2019

Five things you need to know today: May set to announce £2bn public sector pay rise

Plus, Trump says US has destroyed Iranian drone, Khan demands rent control powers and world reacts with horror to Cats film trailer. 

By New Statesman

May set to award two million a salary rise – but who’ll pay?

Two million public sector workers, including teachers and police officers, are to reportedly receive a £2bn pay rise. The Treasury will unveil the largest public sector pay rise in six years on Monday as one of the final acts of Theresa May’s premiership, according to the Times. Police officers are set to receive a 2.5 per cent pay rise, teachers and other school staff 2.75 per cent, soldiers 2.9 per cent, dentists and consultants 2.5 per cent and senior civil servants 2 per cent. The funding for the move is expected to be taken from existing budgets meaning higher borrowing, higher taxes or spending cuts elsewhere will be necessary. Public sector pay was frozen for two years in 2010, except for those earning less than £21,000 a year, and a 1 per cent cap on pay rises was then imposed until its abolition last year. 

US destroyed Iranian drone, says Trump

The US has said that one of its warships destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz as tensions between the two countries further escalate. Donald Trump said that the USS Boxer amphibious assault ship “took defensive action” on Thursday after the drone came within 1,000 yards of the vessel and ignored calls to stand down. Iran, which destroyed a US military drone in the area in June, denied any incident had taken place. 

Javid: “I know what it’s like to be told to go back”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is to tell public figures that they must “moderate their language” as part of government efforts to tackle extremism. In a speech in London today, Javid will implicitly rebuke Donald Trump, saying that “I know what it’s like to be told to go back to where I came from.” The US president prompted outrage earlier this week after telling four Democratic congresswoman, all of whom are American citizens, that they should  “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came”.

Khan demands rent control powers

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called for the government to hand him new powers to cap rents in the capital. Khan will launch a new City Hall report today showing the average private rent for a one-bedroom home in London is now more than the average for a three-bedroom home in every other region of England. The mayor said the controls were needed to “fundamentally rebalance London’s private rented sector” and make it “fit for purpose”. The government said the proposal “could reduce investment in high quality housing and ultimately push rents up”.

Claws out for Cats film trailer

The first trailer for the film version of Cats the musical has divided opinion. Twitter users reacted with horror and derision to the depiction of actors including Judi Dench, Ian McKellen and Taylor Swift (in her first film role) in computer-generated fur. Director Jeff Fowler swiftly announced that “changes” would be made to the film, due for release on 20 December, following the reaction to the three-minute clip.

For coverage of today’s politics follow The Staggers blog. 

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