News Headlines – Tues 20th March


Ahead of the budget, it has been leaked that the Chancellor is due to announce £2.5bn more in cuts from government departments. The FT expects Osborne to use the dosh to support house builders and buyers, as well as boost the “Right-to-buy” scheme. There are also expected to be reforms on how infrastructure projects develop, amid frustration at their slow progress. Also expected is a rise in the personal tax allowance to £10,000 by 2014, and the rise in fuel duty to be deferred. The Sun also reckons the 6p rise in tax on beer will be scrapped. FT, p.1; Sun, p.1


The Sun focusses on the financial difference between renting and buying, citing Zoopla research that renting is £1080 more expensive than servicing the cost of buying a home. In fact, they say its now cheaper to buy than rent in 90% of towns in the UK. Sun, p.37

Personal Finance:

The Mail leads with a bit of outrage on plans in the budget to give child care tax breaks for working parents. They interpret it as an insult to stay at home mums, and an attack on ‘traditional single-earner families’. Cameron and Clegg confirmed yesterday that working couples that earn less than £150,000 will qualify for tax breaks of up to £1,200 per child from 2015. They will receive 20% of their yearly childcare costs. Mail, p.1


Official figures highlight the regional imbalance in the jobs market. Last year, the rest of Great Britain lagged behind England in terms of employment. While 584,000 more jobs were created in the UK in the three months to December compared to a year ago, Scotland only saw an increase of 2,000, while Northern Ireland suffered a fall of 2,000. Employment in London rose 192,000 according to a report by Dr John Philpott. Times, p.41



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