The International Monetary Fund has revised its forecast for the UK economy. It now expects the economy to grow by 0.9 percent this year, revised from its previous forecast of 0.7 percent, whilst growth in 2014 is expected to reach 1.5 percent. Comparing the forecast for the UK and the eurozone exaggerates the difference in economic recovery between the two – the eurozone is expected to shrink by 0.6 percent in 2013. Even Germany is expected to grow by just 0.3 percent this year. (Telegraph B1, the Times B1, Guardian p.18, Independent B1)
The pensions of past and present UK Coal mineworkers took a hit yesterday, as the group responsible for repairing the pension scheme’s deficit – over £450 million – fell into administration. UK Coal pension scheme members, who are not yet at retirement, will have 10% of their retirement funds eliminated from their pension. UK Coal is Britain’s largest coal mining business, and 7,000 workers are to be affected. However, a deal between the Pension Protection Fund and the government was able to salvage 2,000 jobs at the company. (Guardian p.19, Independent B53)
The Guardian reports that homeless households from London are being sent as far away as Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester, to receive temporary accommodation. Last year, 580 homeless households from London were sent outside the capital, according to the housing charity Shelter. But the councils where they are being sent are unaware of their arrival, and are unable to plan for them in provisions for schools and the NHS. Even more worrying, many children who may need social care are falling through the net, as councils remain unaware of their presence. (Guardian p.30)
In the Telegraph, Allister Heath argues that antiquated education practices are holding back both young people and the whole economy, and that they are a major contributor to high levels of youth unemployment. He argues that Gove’s reforms will give schools much more freedom to implement technology in the classroom, and will encourage a competitive and innovative education system, which will deliver a more relevant education to future employment.
More then 100 farming, manufacturing retailing, wholesaling and catering businesses have already signed up to a new scheme to tackle youth unemployment. Feeding Britain’s Future will offer training placements to 12,000 unemployed youth, by providing interview practice, site visits in the food and grocery sector, and advice on searching for a job. (Telegraph B2)