News Headlines Thursday 20th September

Economic

A further £14bn of spending cuts are needed to meet George Osborne’s deficit target, according to a new analysis of Treasury figures that reveals the  scale of the shortfall caused by weaker-than-expected economic growth.  These cuts would be the equivalent of 70,000 teachers, 10,000 police officers and 30,000 defence staff, Guardian p 1

 Nick Clegg apologies to the nation for his broken promise on university tuition fees – everywhere

 PF

The cost of rules that will force firms to enrol their employees in pension schemes is likely to hit wages or be passed on to consumers through price hikes, Steve Webb, Minister for pensions admitted today.

Firms have said they will reduce pay and other benefits, increase prices or cut dividends to cover the costs of contributing to employees’ pension pots.

DWP expects to enrol 800,000 people by the end of the year, with a third expected to opt out.  New data shows that there is a decrease in the number of people actively contributing to occupational private sector pension schemes.  Down to 2.9m compared to 6.5m in 1991 and 8.1m at its peak in 1961.  City Am p 16

 At least a million homeowners face their homes being repossessed because they have interest-only mortgages and no way of paying off the debt according to xit2, a leading asset valuer. When their mortgage term ends they will either have to sell their homes, find the money to pay off the capital on their mortgage or risk having the property repossessed.  Between 2011 and 2020, 1.5 million such mortgages, worth £120 billion will come to the end of their life.   Independent p 55, Express p 2, Telegraph, Mirror

 Property

Steve Morgan or Redrow announced a 70% profit rise.  Revenues rose 6 per cent year on year but pre tax profits jumped 70% to £43m.  Morgan would not comment on his plans to take Redrow private.  He says the housing market still remains challenging though house prices had been “pretty stable” and with rents increasing were likely to remain so.  These figures follow on from Galliford Try’s profits which had risen to £63.1m from £35.1m the year earlier – they say they have benefited from the sale of homes built on cheaper land FT p 22

 Recruitment

Financial services workers saw their bonuses drop last year, official date revealed yesterday, while bonuses increased in almost every other industry figures from ONS show.  They have fallen to an average of £12,000 City AM p 7, FT p 3

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