National Grid has called on companies to consider cutting their energy consumption between 4pm and 8pm on weekdays during the winter to avoid blackouts. The proposal is a clear sign of Britain’s potential energy shortage as Ofgem has warned not enough new plants are being built to replace old coal fired stations. The Financial Times considers the news alongside the discovery a larger reserves of shale gas than originally thought in the north of England and suggests this could underpin a sizeable domestic industry.
Research from Zoopla reveals a continuing rise in the number of properties worth over a million pounds. The number now stands at over 323,000 – a 32% rise on last year. The research found Virginia Water in Surrey is the first town outside London with an average property price of more than a million pounds. Kensington Palace Gardens in London is still the most expensive street, with an average property price of £36 million.
More than five million middle class workers could face tax rises of up to £600 according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. It warned the government may have to raise £10bn from taxes and spending cuts are becoming increasingly hard to find. One possible method would be to freeze the 40% tax threshold, effectively bringing one million people into the higher band.
The number of graduates in menial jobs has doubled in the past six years according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency. Almost 10,000 graduates took up posts that didn’t require a degree in 2012, compared with 5,000 in 2007.