Government announcements digest

Driving tests

Failing to look properly at junctions and not using mirrors effectively are the top reasons people failed following changes made to the driving test in 2017.


New drivers

Suggestions about changing what new drivers are allowed to do to combat crashes in the first year of driving.

  • graduated driver licensing is being explored further in a bid to cut new driver crashes
  • the research will look at the impact of limiting what less experienced drivers can do in their first few months on the road
  • part of the Department for Transport’s upcoming two-year road safety action plan

The impact of university


Graduates in all regions of the country earn on average around 20% more than their peers who did not go to university, figures published for the first time have revealed today (18 July).

The Department for Education has published data showing graduate earnings and employment outcomes by region, as part of a drive to make more information available to help prospective students make their choices. The data show that graduates earn a median annual salary of £19,900 one year after graduating, £23,300 after three years, £26,000 after five, and £30,500 after ten years.

On average, by their mid-20s, graduates earn around 20% more than their peers living in the same region who achieved five A*-Cs at GCSE but did not go on to complete a degree-level qualification. The highest difference was for graduates in the South West, who earned 22.2% more than non-graduates, followed by the West Midlands with a 21.1% difference.


UK funding to help Scottish shortfall )

The Scottish Government raised £941 million less than expected in devolved income taxes in 2017/18, new figures from HMRC reveal today.

Scotland’s economy grew more slowly than the rest of the UK, hitting tax receipts and leaving the Scottish Government with a shortfall in funding.

Because of the risk-sharing mechanism in the jointly agreed fiscal framework, the shortfall will be offset by a £737 million increase to the block grant funded by the UK Government.


Retail sales

Retail sales growth slowed in the latest three months as food stores saw falling sales for the first time this year and department stores continued their steady decline.

However, retail as a whole saw a return to growth in the month of June, mainly due to growth in non-food stores with increased sales in second-hand goods, including charity shops and antiques.

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