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NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP: Boris Johnson wins narrow majority for social care reform plans AND a quarter of UK retailers are struggling to offer Black Friday deals amid supply chain concerns

 

Now it’s time to take a look at your latest national headlines including: the Tory MP’s decline to vote amid criticism for the PM’s social care reform plans, a quarter of UK retailers are worried about supply chain issues making them unable to offer Black Friday offers, and could doing more housework keep your mind sharper in old age?

SOCIAL CARE REFORM: Boris Johnson had his Commons majority slashed as a significant number of Tory MPs rebelled to vote against a change to social care reforms amid anger over how it will hit poorer pensioners.

The Prime Minister narrowly succeeded in getting MPs to back his new policy to cap care costs in England on Monday evening, which senior Tories declined to back amid criticism the plans were being watered down.

Ministers were unable to say whether the change to the £86,000 cap on care costs would fulfil an election pledge to guarantee no-one would have to sell their home to pay for care.

And backbench Tory critics joined experts and Labour MPs in warning the move to count only individual payments towards the cap, and not local authority contributions, would cost poorer recipients more in assets than the wealthy.

The Government worked to see off a potential defeat in the Commons on Monday evening and MPs backed the amendment 272 votes to 246, majority 26.

But that was a major cut to the Prime Minister’s working majority of around 80 MPs, as 19 Conservatives including former Cabinet minister Esther McVey and ex-chief whip Mark Harper rebelled to oppose the plans – while 68 Tories did not vote for them, either because they abstained or could not vote.

BLACK FRIDAY: A quarter of UK retailers are struggling to offer Black Friday deals this year as they grapple with inflation and supply chain issues, a survey suggests.

Half of retailers (50%) are concerned about this year’s sales weekend, citing shipping costs, supply chain issues and inflation, with 30% fearing they cannot fulfil a spike in demand for goods and 25% saying they will struggle to offer significant Black Friday discounts.

Almost half (47%) have invested in early advertising campaigns in an effort to avoid a run on stock and to play down expectations of big sales without harming their bottom line, the poll for payment solutions provider Checkout.com found.

However, consumers appear determined to make the most of this year’s festive season after last year’s Covid-related restrictions, with 41% saying they have started their seasonal shopping early to avoid disappointment.

HOUSEWORK ELDERLY: Older adults who regularly perform household chores have better memory and attention span, according to a new study.

Researchers said that elderly people who participate in a combination of light housework and more physically demanding chores appear to have “higher cognitive function”.

Experts in Singapore wanted to assess whether doing household chores contributes towards healthy ageing by boosting physical activity levels and mental capacity.

The new study, published in the journal BMJ Open, examined data on almost 500 pensioners and younger adults aged between 21 and 90.

All were living independently and able to carry out routine day-to-day tasks.

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