Soaring rates of housing benefit fraud and overpayments are costing each family in the country £70 a year, it has emerged. Last year a staggering £1.27 billion was lost to the taxpayer in housing benefit fraud and errors – up by a third in just two years. It is now believed that more than one pound in every 20 paid out in housing benefit is fraudulent or in error.
Daily Mail, p.8
Interest rates are likely to remain at rock bottom for the next three years, it emerged yesterday. The news will cheer homeowners but means more lean times for savers. New Bank of England governor Mark Carney gave a clear hint that the base rate, which has been at 0.5 per cent since March 2009, will be frozen at this historic low for some time to come. The surprise statement from the Bank yesterday said that a rise is not likely until 2016.
Daily Mail, p.4 (and everywhere)
Nearly six years of pain for the housing market is at an end after the first major improvement in conditions since the financial crisis, a leading homebuilder declared yesterday. Taylor Wimpey, the second-largest player by homes completed and nearly a victim of the crash, gave the most bullish verdict yet on a market buoyed by an improving economy, easier lending conditions and the Government’s Help to Buy initiative.
The Independent, p.49
Meanwhile, mortgage lender Halifax has revealed that house prices climbed by nearly £9,000 in eight months on the back of rising confidence and a lack of homes on the market. Annual property inflation is now at its highest for nearly three years, with the cost of the average three-bedroom semi now at £167,984 up from £159,313 eight months ago.
Daily Express, p.2
A graduate’s chances of finding a job differ according to their choice of university, figures suggest. More than a fifth of students at some institutions were not in work or studying six months after graduating last summer, according to data published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). About 23 per cent of 2012 graduates from London South Bank university and 21 per cent of those from the University of East London were unemployed after half a year. In contrast, 96 per cent of graduates from the universities of Derby and Northampton graduates were working or studying six months after finishing their degree. This compares with 95 per cent of last year’s Cambridge graduates and 92 per cent of those were were at Oxford.
The Times, p.12