News Headlines – 27th June 2013

Economics

George Osborne’s spending review focussed on welfare and benefits, in particular, introducing a delay to unemployment benefit – those hoping to claim will now have to have written a  CV, registered for online job searches and started looking for work. And migrants will have to demonstrate they have improved their English to the level of a nine year old or face seeing welfare payments stopped. The Times leader suggests the Chancellor did a good job in his review, but points out the biggest and hardest decisions still lie ahead – the task of deficit reduction is still incomplete. Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph is less flattering, stating that this latest announcement was more of a political move than an economic one. He argues the fiscal position is alarming, and the imbalance of spending and growth meant Britain is racking up debt that could yet become unsustainable. Times, p.1,6,30; Telegraph, p.1,26,27

Personal Finance  

Pensioners living in warmer countries are to be stripped of their £300 winter fuel allowance. A total of 115,000 expats living in seven countries including Spain, Portugal, Greece, France and Gibraltar will lose the benefits under the new “temperature test”. The change is likely to affect 60,000 pensioners already claiming the payment and it would prevent an estimated 115,000 from receiving the money in 2015. Telegraph, p,5

Property

Becky Barrow in the Mail covers Halifax’s story on current Monopoly board values. Cheap streets on the Monopoly board now cost a fortune. When Monopoly was first launched in the 1930s the idea of a property on the Old Kent road costing £60 didn’t seem quite as laughable as today. You’d need to add another £190,000 to get close to the price of a property on the Old Kent Road. The average value on the Monopoly board is £208.64 whereas the modern average for properties across the board is now £788,106. Mail, p.24

Employment

Police officers, nurses and teachers will no longer get automatic annual pay rises. Announced in the Spending Review George Osbourne said that wage rises would be held down to an average of 1% in 2015-16. Ministers have already announced plans to overhaul teachers’ pay. Under the proposals due to come into effect this autumn, pay will be linked to performance in the classroom. Telegraph, p.7

Peter Whitehead’s Recruitment Diary include the news from Adzuna.co.uk that job vacancies in May were up on a year ago at 500,000 but the average annual salary is worth £1,500 less in real terms than a year ago. FT Exec Appointments, p.3

 

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