Paper Summary for Thursday 3rd October 2013

Economy

  • Both The Times and the Daily Telegraph cover Mark Carney’s interview with ITV News Anglia (p.45 and p.B1 respectively) although the Daily Telegraph gives it much more space.  Mark Carney said “the economy is beginning to pick up”, but he stressed that a durable recovery would need to be built on growth outside the capital.  “This recovery, to gain traction, is going to turn on regions like East Anglia,” he said. “As important as London is, it is going to turn on what happens in the broader economy. It is not enough just to have a recovery in London and the South East.”  Mr Carney also warned potential homeowners to check they can afford their mortgages “when rates rise – as they will when the recovery takes hold”. Deflecting questions about a possible housing bubble, he said: “The bigger challenge is how do we ensure housing grows in a sustainable way.”

 

Property

  • In an opinion piece in The Independent (p.17) Mira Bar-Hillel looks at the “economic insanity” of Help to Buy.  She says, “There is no evidence that the Government’s stated purpose for Help to Buy, which is to stimulate the building of more homes, desperately needed to relieve the housing crisis, is materialising.”  Elsewhere in The Independent (p.56), Russell Lynch reports Britain’s builders are constructing homes at the fastest pace for nearly a decade as the industry struggles to keep up with fresh demand – “Residential construction activity jumped at the sharpest rate since November 2003 during September, according to the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, as the Government’s Help to Buy scheme and cheaper mortgages send buyers flooding into the market.”  The Daily Telegraph also covers the story saying Help to Buy has propelled house building to a 10-year record (p.B1).

Employment & Recruitment

  • David Cameron told the Conservative Party conference yesterday that young people should ‘earn or learn’ – announcing a policy that anyone under 25 will be barred from claiming housing or unemployment benefit, and said the state should play the role of a responsible parent – ‘nagging and pushing’ young people not to be idle, reported the Daily Telegraph.  The Independent called it an extension of US-Style “workfare”.  It quoted, Grainia Long, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, who said: “This would be a dangerous move. How do you build the economy without a young, mobile workforce?  It would mean that young people would be unwilling to take risks such as moving for work because there would be no safety net for them”.  The Daily Express took a more hard-line suggesting referring to the policy as a “benefits ban”, a “welfare crackdown” and a “benefits curb” under which young people could be “stripped of the right to claim jobless benefits”.  Perhaps the existing British workforce could do with the help? – The Daily Telegraph reports that overstretched staff are toiling at a more intense rate than they were a year according to new research from recruiter Randstad, with less than one in three reporting the same level of pressure last year.  The Daily Mirror and Metro run the same story, with the Mirror pointing out that social care workers are the most-spread thin employees in the country – over (54%) say they work hard already and cannot work any harder.  This isn’t going unacknowledged; elsewhere in his conference speech, the PM took time to praise social workers (Daily Telegraph, p.4 and The Times p.36).

Randstad logo_high res_RGB

Personal Finance

  • The Financial Conduct Authority has been urged to crack down on advertising by payday lenders and tackle the way they collect and extend loans reports The Guardian. The regulator will announce new rules governing the sector this morning, and the government will publish the results of a survey it conducted among borrowers to establish whether lenders are meeting voluntary codes of practice.  That story is also covered in The Independent (p.13) and was the lead on The Today Programme this morning.
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