Wriglesworth Paper Summary: 9th July 2013

Personal Finance

Retirement becomes a distant dream as new research shows that one in five people believe they will never retire. According to the Association of British Insurers, whereby You Gov asked 2,506 employees questions relating to retirement and welfare, in a survey that was weighted to reflect the working adult population, sadly two thirds of those polled said they would struggle to meet the costs of paying for long-term care as they become frail. Even though there are numerous initiatives to encourage people to save, including the introduction of compulsory workplace pensions, the evidence shows that many will struggle to maintain their living standards into old age. The Government has phased out the statutory retirement age, which used to be 65, so technically there is no restriction on stopping work. (The Times)

Personal finance will become compulsory in schools across England for the first time under new reforms to the national curriculum put forward by Education Secretary Michael Gove. All pupils will be required to study financial education between the ages of 11 and 16 as part of a citizenship course to give kids the financial skills so that they can manage their money on a day-to-day basis, and plan for future financial needs. The proposed curriculum, to be taught from 2014, comes as welcome news for campaigners who have worked hard so that children can be educated on how to manage their money. Personal finance is already taught in schools in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. (Guardian)

Economy

Last night the coalition was accused of failing to implement key recommendations of a high profile parliamentary report on cleaning up the City despite having announced that bankers would now face jail for reckless misconduct. Ministers opted to ignore some of the key recommendations of the Parliamentary Commission into Banking standards that it set up. In an 80 page response Mr Osborne and business secretary, Vince Cable offered only a partial endorsement of the commission’s exhaustive report, and were criticised as being weak by Labour.  Mr Osborne said the government is determined to raise standards across the banking industry to create a stronger and safer banking system and that the government will implement its main recommendations.  The Government also emphasised that cultural reform in the banking sector marks the next step in the government’s plan to move the whole sector from rescue to recovery and ensure that UK banks demonstrate the highest standards, and are able to support business and drive economic growth.

Property

The housing market seems to be gaining strength as shown by the latest RICS report that illustrated that June was the strongest month for house prices in over three years. Out of the surveyors questioned by RICS, 21% more reported rising than falling prices, that’s the highest proportion since January 2010. Apparently the number of people involved in the industry who expect prices to keep rising is at its highest point since the survey started in 1999. The reason prices are rising is especially due to the impact of rising demand, with 38% more surveyors reporting new buyer enquiries than reporting fewer. Demand is being driven up at the fastest rate since the survey began in 1999. The lack of newly built housing coupled with the new government policies and initiatives may be injecting life into the property market. (City AM, Guardian)

Recruitment / Employment

The controversial scheme School Direct that was introduced by Michael Gove, the education secretary, as part of his plan to train more teachers in schools has come under attack due to criticisms that it cannot train enough teachers and there may be a teacher shortage on the horizon. Concerns have also been brought to light about whether this sort of training lacks some of the important grounding offered by a university-based PGCE. Ideally the government would like 10,000 new teachers to be trained through School Direct from September. The idea is to give heads greater power over training and guarantee more “on the job” experience for recruits. However fewer than half this number have been accepted onto the scheme, and there have been concerns from schools about the quality of applicants.

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