The backdrop to Wednesday’s budget darkened for George Osborne as the OBR announced weaker than expected growth figures. The forecast by the independent economists slashed their growth predictions for 2013 down from 1.2% to 0.7%. It leaves the Chancellor’s fiscal targets in tatters. The Bank of England also poured cold water on Osborne’s hope that it could adopt a looser monetary policy to help stimulate growth. The Bank warned the policy risks a rise in inflation, and warned of the pernicious effects of high inflation in the 70s and 80s.
Research from Wriglesworth client Prime Location in the Telegraph, i paper, and Independent reveals the South West is the place most people would choose to have their ideal home. Just 4% of people would choose Wales. Even given an unlimited budget, most people would only have a maximum of 5 bedrooms in their ideal home.
Leah Milner writes a piece in Times Money warning borrowers that cheap headline mortgage rates are just a ruse to grab their attention. She warns the criteria and credit scoring on cheap rate mortgages are still stringent, and the small print often contains clauses allowing the lender to invoke payment increases further down the line – clauses that are out of sync with the BoE’s official base rate. Tracker borrowers beware.
Recruitment and employment
More scrutiny of banking pay. Santander paid 19 staff more than £1 million despite a looming fine from the FSA for giving customers bad advice. The bank said it was increasing its bonus pool by 14% to £150 million.