Today’s headlines

Economics

George Osborne has promised the Conservative party would not raise taxes if the party wins the election in 2015, effectively setting the tone for the forthcoming contest. Although any future government will struggle to cut the annual deficit, the chancellor indicated that the welfare budget would be cut in order to meet his target of reducing spending by £23bn between 2017 and 2018. He claimed Labour would not be willing to take the same measures – saying that although he wasn’t sure whether they would “do big tax increases”, he “suspect[ed]” they might. Cover of City A.M., cover of The Times, p.2 of the Daily Mirror, p.8 of the Daily Mail, p.4 of The Sun, and cover of the Daily Telegraph.

Property

Large property loans for buyers with a deposit less than 15% of the house’s value are more available now than at any point since the financial crisis, according to LSL. According to their data out today more high LTV mortgages were extended to people buying houses in June than in any month since September 2008. Richard Sexton, commenting on the figures, said there was a “twist in the tale” as the increased lending has been primarily focused on the capital and the south east region. However, he stated this was not deliberate and was merely due to there being more equity-rich buyers in this part of the country. P.14 of City A.M., p.20 of the Daily Mail.

According to the Resolution Foundation, as many as 650,000 additional households could face debt repayments of at least half their income if mortgage rates rise unexpectedly before the economy returns to full strength. Despite the fact that those aged 35 to 50 have typically borrowed more heavily than other age groups, a surprise rise in mortgage rates would hit younger borrowers disproportionately, the research suggests. Families with children were also more at risk then childless couples and single adults. P.2 of FT

Personal Finance

Tourists are enjoying themselves despite the global economic slowdown, spending more money on their travels so far in 2013 than during the same period last year. Both visitors to the UK and Britons travelling abroad are carrying fatter wallets, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday. Patricia Yates, a director at Visit Britain, has attributed this rise to positive publicity from last summer’s Olympic Games in London. P.12 of City AM

People in their twenties will have to wait until they are 105 years old to see any benefit from the new state pension proposed by the Government, according to a report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS). The extensive report into who wins and who loses from the Coalition’s planned single-tier state pension, due to be introduced in 2016, found that younger people will be the worst hit. IFS did, however, say that some groups would benefit from the reforms, particularly those closer to retirement. The biggest winners are likely to be those with patchy employment records, such as women who have left the workforce to bring up children, the unemployed or those doing part-time and low-paid work. p.8 of The Independent.

Recruitment

Britain’s jobs market is growing at the fastest rate since before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, one of the country’s leading recruiters has said. Hays’ UK business has grown by 7% in the past three months, thanks to boosts in IT, construction, property and human resources. Apparently, 9 of the group’s 12 UK regions grew – showing that recovery has not been limited to London and the south east. P.71 of the Daily Mail

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