News Headlines – 15th September

Property

  • Recession scarred investors are turning their back on the stock market and putting their faith in Buy to Let as the rental sector booms. Pension investment has fallen off by 19 percentage points since 1997 amongst the 22-29 age group, while Ludlow Thompson report a trebling of buy to let landlords in their 20s since before the crisis. (p. 3)

Recruitment

  • Vince Cable has unveiled plans to make it easier to sack staff if things go wrong in an effort to boost hiring. Cable says he is trying to strike a balance between protecting workers and helping employers. The plans will also cut the limit on compensation from £72,300 to a year’s salary. However, just six percent of dismissals are settled at over £30,000 calling into question the impact of this policy. (Express, p. 9, Alison Little)

Personal Finance

  • Moving costs have gone up 70% in the past decade according to Lloyds TSB and the bills for home improvements look set to fall, making extending a property an attractive option. Although planning rules have been relaxed to allow homeowners to build extensions of a certain size however, extending the mortgage could be a problem. Many homeowners will find their credit rating has fallen since they bought and those who bought more recently will have seen property values fall. In addition, many incomes have fallen and spending up. As lenders have been forced to tighten lending criteria, affordability tests are tougher and many borrowers will be disappointed to discover that they might not even qualify for their existing loan if applying today, so a further advance on the same terms will ne out of the question. Teresa Hunter, Telegraph

Economics

  • Paul Deighton, in his new post-Olympics role as treasury minister has a large interview with the Times, in which he says harnessing the Olympic spirit can provide the boost the economy needs, through public/private sector joint enterprise. He particularly advocates infrastructure spending, and in a quick fire questionnaire says he prefers Keynes over Smith. (Times, p. 42, Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson)
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