Paper Summary: 26th May 2013

In Sunday’s papers…

Personal Finance

A major survey by the Mail on Sunday has revealed that 65% of investors make buy-to-let property their pension. Poor interest rates on savings, a generation forced to rent rather than buy and disappointment with the performance of pension funds are persuading more people to turn to buy-to-let as a key provider of income. Many see BTL as a real alternative to a traditional pension and putting cash on deposit where annual interest struggles to beat one per cent.
Mail on Sunday, p.93
Payday lenders have broken a series of promises to reform their industry, including pledges to check that their loans are affordable and to freeze charges when people struggle to repay, according to new research. A survey conducted by Citizens Advice also found that most lenders are failing to remind clients that their loans, which can carry equivalent annual interest rates of 5,000%, are not a long-term fix.
The Observer, p.14

Economics

The UK government should take more action to boost the economy, the International Monetary Fund mused last week, as it warned that we’re “still a long way from a strong and sustainable recovery”. The Washington-based lender said the £10bn of spending cuts and taxes planned for the coming year would be a “drag on growth” and urged the government to do more to stimulate the economy.
The Observer, p.37
Some of America’s biggest internet and technology companies are avoiding about £1bn a year in UK corporation tax by sending revenues to Ireland. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Accenture and Dell paid UK corporation tax of just £50m in 2011. This is less than 0.5% of the estimated £13bn on revenue they generated in Britain that year.
The Sunday Times, p.15

Property

Reaching more than a thousand feet in the air, The Shard was hailed as one of the wonders of the age when it was completed. Yet Britain’s tallest building is almost entirely empty, as its owners struggle to find buyers and tenants for its offices and luxury flats. Almost a year ago since it opened at a cost of £500 million, the building’s only occupants are a restaurant on the 32nd floor and a viewing gallery on the upper five floors. Not a single office in the 26 floors devoted to business use has been rented.
Mail on Sunday, p.15

Recruitment

Civil servants are facing a sick pay crackdown – with staff having to earn it rather than getting generous terms from day one. At the moment even new recruits can take six months off sick on their full wage, followed by six months on half pay. That would be cut to a month of each, rising for every year of service to a maximum of five months, under a shake-up by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude.
The Sun, p.2
A new factory will open next month employing disabled Remploy workers who lost their jobs despite a healthy order book and a firm takeover bid. As part of the Government’s Remploy closures, 42 staff in Wrexham were left out of work when the factory shut in autumn last year. However, the business will re-open at a new site on June 14 and a quarter of the workforce has already been taken on.
Sunday Express, p.33

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