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Wednesday newspaper round-up: Minimum wage, energy crisis, Eurostar

By Michele Maatouk

The minimum wage should be increased to £15 an hour as soon as possible to help millions of low-paid workers struggling amid the cost of living crisis, the TUC has said. In a move that opens a fresh policy gap between unions and Keir Starmer’s Labour party, the TUC has thrown its weight behind calls for a more ambitious legal floor on pay rates. The union body said the government needed to draw up plans to get wages rising as workers suffer the biggest hit to living standards on record. – Guardian
Ministers could face an additional £23bn price tag for covering extra household energy costs of £900 this autumn, rising to £90bn next year, a new paper by the Institute for Government has found. The paper, looking at the options for Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak in No 10, also warned the government should plan for prolonged rises in energy bills by going a lot further in making public appeals to use less gas – for example by informing consumers about the cost savings from turning down thermostats – and in committing to building more energy efficient homes to help protect consumers. – Guardian

Industry chiefs are preparing for the energy crisis to last for another three years as National Grid draws up emergency plans to reduce power demand from factories across Britain. Large industrial companies would be paid to cut gas usage every winter until 2025 as National Grid attempts to avoid uncontrolled blackouts that would cause “a major economic and societal impact”. – Telegraph

Eurostar trains will not stop in Kent for up to three years, the operator said as it blamed the decision on Brexit and its post-pandemic recovery. The county could remain disconnected from the Continent until 2025 after the train company dashed hopes of a gradual return of services next year. – Telegraph

The Dutch state railway, one of the biggest backers of Britain’s train network via its Abellio subsidiary, is quitting the UK. Abellio UK, which employs 15,000 people as operator of Greater Anglia, East Midlands Railway, West Midlands Railway and Merseyrail, and has substantial operations in the London bus market, is set to be sold by Nederlandse Spoorwegen to local management. – The Times

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