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Tuition fees: Theresa May challenges university costs

The prime minister is to call for better value for students in England who face “one of the most expensive systems of university tuition in the world”. Theresa May will announce an independent review of fees and student finance on Monday. She will also argue for an end to “outdated attitudes” that favour university over technical education. Labour says it would abolish fees and bring back maintenance grants. A day of reckoning for tuition fees? 10 charts showing the effect of tuition fees Mrs May, announcing the year-long review of…

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Trump's big promises on drug costs followed by modest steps

President Donald Trump makes big promises to reduce prescription drug costs, but his administration is gravitating to relatively modest steps such as letting Medicare patients share in manufacturer rebates. Those ideas would represent tangible change and they have a realistic chance of being enacted. But it’s not like calling for Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Skeptics say the overall approach is underwhelming, and Trump risks being seen as an ally of the powerful pharmaceutical industry, not its disrupter. The White House Council of Economic Advisers has released a 30-page strategy…

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On drug costs, modest steps follow Trump's big promises

President Donald Trump makes big promises to reduce prescription drug costs, but his administration is gravitating to relatively modest steps such as letting Medicare patients share in manufacturer rebates. Those ideas would represent tangible change and they have a realistic chance of being enacted. But it’s not like calling for Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Skeptics say the overall approach is underwhelming, and Trump risks being seen as an ally of the powerful pharmaceutical industry, not its disrupter. The White House Council of Economic Advisers has released a 30-page strategy…

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Google owner Alphabet earnings hit by rising costs costs

Google’s parent company Alphabet saw lower than expected profits in the last three months of 2017 after higher costs offset a big jump in advertising sales. The tech giant made quarterly profits of $ 6.8bn (£4.8bn), missing the $ 7bn analysts had predicted. Revenue jumped by 24% to $ 32.3bn helped by adverts sold on its search engine, websites and apps. But overall expenses climbed as Alphabet spent money on diversifying beyond its core search business. This included investment in YouTube content, in an attempt to made the service more…

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News: Home Office outlines increase in UK passport costs

The Home Office has outlined plans to introduce different passport fees for online and postal applications as part of its push to increase the use of online services and its ambition to create a self-sustainable immigration and borders system. The move will see the cost of a passport application increase by around £12. However, those applying online will see rises of just £3. The proposals, which remain subject to parliamentary approval, would mean the money collected through fees will contribute to the cost of processing British passport holders as they…

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Oregon voters to decide Medicaid funding as costs rise

Oregon aggressively expanded its Medicaid rolls under the Affordable Care Act, adding enough people to leave only 5 percent of its population uninsured — one of America’s lowest rates. Now, with the reduction of a federal match that covered those enrollees, the state is calling on voters to decide how to pay for its ballooning Medicaid costs. A special election on Tuesday asks Oregonians whether they approve of a tax on hospitals, health insurers and managed care companies that would leave Medicaid, as it is now, untouched. More than 1…

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Rising food costs leave little room for festive splurge

Rising food costs meant consumers had little left over to spend on a festive splurge, industry figures suggest. Like-for-like retail sales, which exclude new store sales, rose 0.6% last month, down on December 2016’s 1% rise. Food sales accounted for most of the rise, with spending on non-food items such as clothing down sharply. The British Retail Consortium, which produces the data with consultancy KPMG, said shoppers’ spending power “had been absorbed by essential items”. It said this had forced shops which did not sell food to discount heavily in…

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