Another week, another batch of rail strikes. The impact of two days of walkouts this week has become clear today – as new figures showed the biggest real-term slump in wages on record.
Evening briefing: Today's other essential headlines
More transport chaos | Just one in five trains will run due to strikes on Thursday and Saturday, with only half of Britain's lines open. Network Rail confirmed that only 20pc of services will operate due to a walkout by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union. Read on for the knock-on impact of the action, which comes after a string of strikes shut down services on London's Tube and the UK rail network this summer.
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The big story: Wages fall at fastest pace on record
Workers are earning more but, increasingly, have less to spend. The biggest real-term slump in wages since records began was revealed today.
According to official figures, UK employees saw their pay lag behind inflation at record levels over the past quarter. In cash terms, regular pay picked up a little more pace to grow by 4.7pc in the quarter compared to the same period of 2021, marking the strongest growth since last September.
At the same time, inflation accelerated to hit a new four-decade high of 9.4pc in June – leaving price rises far outstripping any rise in earnings.
In real terms, regular pay in the quarter dropped by 4.1pc compared with the same period last year, the Office for National Statistics said, which is the steepest drop since records began in 2001.
Tim Wallace examines the impact on household finances.
One of the biggest dents in domestic budgets will be made by energy bills. Analysis today showed that, when the price cap is raised in January, heat and power costs will eat up one-sixth of the average person's pay.
This chart shows how the energy price cap is expected to climb. Associate editor Ben Wright says, after decades of government failure, the long-term solution to energy security is clear.
Jobs market 'a malfunctioning mess'
In other figures released today, the number of job vacancies fell for the first time since the early months of the pandemic.
While it raises the prospect of the skills shortage easing as the economy slows, chief city commentator Ben Marlow says the post-Brexit labour market is a "malfunctioning mess", as he argues that the greatest employment crisis in decades threatens to prolong the country's economic malaise.
Dawn of the 50-year fixed mortgage
As a growing number of homeowners seek to fix their mortgages for longer to protect themselves from rising costs, a new mortgage lender has been granted a licence to offer 50-year fixed deals.
Perenna, a UK-based specialist lender, said it would initially launch 30-year loans before later rolling out longer terms after being granted permission by the Bank of England.
Tom Haynes looks at the likely rates. This guide explains how to get the lowest possible rate – and keep repayments down.
Comment and analysis
Nigel Farage | We need a Brexit 2.0 to fix illegal immigration
John Redwood | Only real privatisation will save water industry
Tom Harris | Left must never be allowed to ignore Rushdie attack
Michael Deacon | Give comedy hypocrites taste of their medicine
Susannah Taylor | Why you should fast for 13 hours every day
Around the world: China 'spy ship' docks in Sri Lanka
A high-tech Chinese survey vessel bristling with surveillance equipment docked in Sri Lanka today – despite concerns from neighbouring India that the ship could be used to spy on its ports and military installations. The arrival of the Yuan Wang 5, an advanced satellite-tracking vessel, in the port of Hambantota highlighed the precarious diplomatic position of the bankrupt South Asia nation at the centre of a tussle between China and India. Asia correspondent Nicola Smith has our full coverage.
Tuesday long-read: 'Dear diary, terrorists have taken my home city'
Ranna Afzali, a former journalist for state television in Afghanistan, lost her job on the day Kabul fell to the Taliban exactly one year ago. She has kept a diary since that historic day – and shares her personal account of the 12 months that ensued. Read the article.
Sport briefing: Moment Darwin Nunez saw red
Darwin Nunez was red carded for the blatant headbutt of Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen in Liverpool's 1-1 Premier League draw at Anfield, but the battle between the pair began long before the second-half flashpoint. Ian Whittell analyses the 10 stages of a meltdown that marred the Uruguayan's home Premier League debut. In other news, Luke Edwards reports how Newcastle United have asked to be kept informed about a quartet of Chelsea players who could be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge before the close of the transfer window.
How seaside holidays changed | 'Scarborough remedy' to Cornwall's over-tourism
Mustard shortage | With the condiment in short supply, how to make your own at home
Duchess of Cambridge | New go-to designer reveals the key to dressing our future Queen
Business briefing: Expats hit by state pension blunder
Thousands of British expats have had their state pension suspended indefinitely after the Government lost their forms in the post. The Department for Work and Pensions blamed the widespread error on Canadian postal delays, claiming the forms had been lost in the post – but British pensioners living overseas disputed the claim. Meanwhile, Apple has ordered staff back to the office three days a week after a year-long battle with employees over winding down working from home.
Tonight starts now
Letting the train take the strain | Our travel feature last week about how to do a luxury rail journey for less focused on price, but it is the scenery the trains pass through that makes them special. We asked Telegraph readers to send us their most scenic train rides. From rolling through remote Andean villages to mossy beech forests, read on for the most inspiring entries. They might even spark an idea your next trip...
Three things for you
And finally... for this evening's downtime
A funny thing happened on the way to Middle-earth... | The Lord of the Rings' author JRR Tolkien was not half as serious as posterity might have you believe. John Garth reveals the humour in his life.