How did the UK change from the start of 2022 to the beginning of 2023?

How did the UK change from the start of 2022 to the beginning of 2023?
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A lot can change in a year.

And when you get caught up in the busy day-to-day news cycle, it is easy to lose track of big narratives and miss links.

Comparing the news on the 1st of January 2022 and the 1st January 2023 then, throws just how much has changed into stark relief.

Which is exactly what we've done:

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1st January 2022

A variant of Omicron, BA.2.75, has been nicknamed Centaurus and how it got it's name is more random than you thought Getty Images

When 2022 started, there was widespread concern in the newspapers about a new variant of coronavirus - omicron. One in 25 had come down with the virus in the last week of 2021 and while it looked like omicron wasn't as dangerous as Covid variants that had preceded it, New Year's Eve events had been scaled back and a humming about new potential restrictions rang out in the air.

Meanwhile, Tony Blair's knighthood proved controversial and rumours of a potential crisis in energy bills loomed on the news horizon, with a fuel charity sounding the alarm about the impact of price hikes.

Boris Johnson was the prime minister as he had been from 2019. Stable stuff.

1st January 2023

It could be a tough winter for energy suppliers \u2014 and households <p>It could be a tough winter for energy suppliers — and households </p> PA

One year later, coronavirus cases barely make headlines and the omicron wave subsided as quickly as it came. People who are most at risk of coronavirus now receive booster jabs and all remaining restrictions in the UK were lifted in February.

However, the NHS is still in the news because some health chiefs are warning that A&E branches are in crisis and there are reports about shortages of appointments.

Rail, nursing and other industry strikes ended up dominating the headlines during the year and as 2023 begins there are more strikes tabled this week.

Meanwhile, the energy crisis ended up being one of the biggest stories of the year. Prices increased and increased and merely then just chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a windfall tax on profits that Labour had previously called for.

The government also gave people rebates for their soaring bills, rebates that Labour say do not go far enough, and this crisis alongside rising inflation birthed an overall cost of living crisis. It is no wonder permacrisis became the word of the year.

Johnson didn't last the course and isn't prime minister any more, by the way. Liz Truss replaced him but she isn't the boss either. She became the shortest-serving prime minister in British history and now Sunak (who is also short) is in charge.

What a year.

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