In the papers today…
• Nearly a third of all British workers are heading for a substantial fall in their living standards when they retire – with the majority being medium to high earners, ministers have warned. A new study by the Government, released yesterday, reveals that up to 12 million people will face a shortfall in their pensions despite the introduction of automatic enrolment. The report concluded that someone earning £40,000 a year would have to save £5,260 a year including employer contributions to have the same standard of living in old age.
Daily Telegraph, p.1 and The Independent, p.12
• Twitter has revealed plans to sell shares on the US stock market in what will be Silicon Valley’s most highly anticipated flotation since Facebook went public last year. The announcement, inevitably, came via a tweet. Wall Street analysts have suggested that the company, which claims to have 15 million active users in Britain, could be valued at more than $10 billion (£6.3 billion). A listing had not been expected for another year.
The Times, p.1
• The Government is to press ahead with Britain’s biggest privatisation for two decades by selling off the Royal Mail – just as tens as thousands of postal workers prepare to walk out on strike. Ministers say the shares sale, which analysts could raise up to £3bn, is essential to enable the company to compete in the rapidly growing market for parcels delivery because of the internet shopping boom. But the move, which will be launched within weeks, put the Government on a collision course with the unions, which will now ballot on strike action that could begin in mid-October and continue in the run-up to Christmas.
The Independent, p.8
• House prices have shot up to their highest level on record for the fourth time this year, according to new figures. Values jumped by £883 last month and are £7,275 higher than a year ago due to a boost in mortgage lending to first-time buyers. Property is now more expensive than at its previous peak of February 2008, reaching an average of £233,776, an LSL/Academetrics survey found. David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, said: “The property market has turned over a new leaf after years of restrained activity following the financial crisis. Improving mortgage availability and pricing is boosting demand. Competition among lenders has opened up the market for first-time buyers, with growing product choice and competitive rates.”
Daily Express, p.4
• The LSL/Academetrics study also features on page 2 of the Financial Times, with Tanya Powley and Chris Giles writing that estate agents and surveys have become so concerned by the dangers of another unsustainable housing boom that their trade body is urging the Bank of England to limit national house price growth to 5 per cent a year.
• More than half of major employers say that the graduates they hire are not “work ready” on leaving university, a survey suggests. The finding raises a question mark over the value of new employability programmes offered by many universities as they compete to recruit students. The research, by YouGov, demonstrated that only 20 per cent of employers believe the graduates they hired had good employability skills.
The Times, p.4
• The number of MPs employing family members has soared by nearly a fifth in a year. Despite parliamentary expenses, 155 MPs – nearly one in four – now have wives, children and even parents on the public payroll. The relatives enjoy salaries as high as £50,000 for office duties – costing taxpayers £4 million last year.
Front page of Daily Mirror and Daily Mail, everywhere
• Unemployment is not expected to drop below the level needed for a Bank of England interest rate rise before the next election, its new Governor warned yesterday. Mark Carney said there was only a one-in-three chance of the jobless figure coming down to 7% by 2015 because bosses will give more hours to existing part-timers before employing new workers.
Daily Mirror, p.2