Theresa May’s ‘just managing’ will be the victims of this new benefits cap too | Polly Toynbee

As families face annual cuts of up to £6,000, the government’s vilification of the poorest has turned hearts to stone

The axe fell yesterday, as the cap on what a family can receive in benefits was cut by £3,000 a year in London, double that in the rest of the country. But that’s not the worst of what’s to come. Do cuts summon up “I, Daniel Blake” indignation? No, pollsters find the benefit cap among the most popular of government policies.

Related: Creating child poverty for a whole new generation. Take a bow, Theresa May | Aditya Chakrabortty

Related: This callous benefit cap reduction will hit families hard this Christmas

Continue reading…

Cinemas, pubs and winter clothes boost consumer spending

Barclaycard says spending rose 5.5% in October, but warns spending growth could subside amid inflation fears

Bumper box office takings, strong trade in pubs and a rush for winter clothes drove a solid rise in consumer spending last month, according to new figures.

Barclaycard said spending rose 5.5% on a year earlier in October, the strongest growth since it started publishing monthly health checks on consumer finances in 2011. But it warned the trend of solid spending growth could soon fizzle out as households worry about inflation.

Related: Six MPs make surprise visit to Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse

Continue reading…

Figuring out what comes after gene sequencing in China

biotech-ardent-biomed-daan-gene-wondfo-illumina-3 In recent years, a crop of companies have emerged that are using genomic sequencing to detect diseases in order to prevent the negative outcome of those diseases. It’s led to a budding ecosystem of startups that are crunching the data, as well as the cost of that sequencing coming down. But while we’re at the stage of getting the cost of genomic sequencing down and making it… Read More