In the papers today:
The financial savings generated by the “bedroom tax” may have been significantly exaggerated by the Government, according to research which shows the controversial policy is likely to save £160m less in its first year than the projected £480m. The Government underestimated the proportion of tenants under-occupying by one bedroom who would downsize, and of those who would end up in the more expensive private sector.
The Independent, p.1
Ministers have been accused of betraying pensioners over a pledge they will not have to sell their homes to fund the cost of care. The Coalition had promised that Government-backed loans would cover hiring home helps and care home fees, and be repaid from the person’s estate after they died. But yesterday it emerged that far from being universal as billed, the ‘deferred payment’ scheme will apply as a matter of course only to those with other assets of less than £23,500.
Daily Mail, p.1, Daily Telegraph, p.1
Conservative plans to scrap green taxes could increase household energy bills in the long run, Nick Clegg has warned. David Cameron is considering relaxing green taxes in an attempt to relieve the squeeze on families struggling with the rising cost of living. But the Deputy Prime Minister said that any decision to cut environmental levis would end up increasing household bills, stating it would lead to less investment, higher bills over time and an increase in fuel poverty.
Daily Telegraph, p.1
Borrowers are fixing in record numbers as three-year mortgage deals average below 4% for the first time since before 2007. Figures from the Mortgage Advice Bureau show three-year rates fell 0.14% between August and September to an average 3.92%. The number of home buyers opting for fixed deals in September hit 93% compared to 86% last year, and no wonder, as two-year rates also fell to an average of 3.56%.
The Mirror, p.50 and City AM, p.2
The boss of Lloyds has echoed warnings that the Government’s new mortgage scheme would create a house price bubble – despite the bank backing it. Antonio Horta-Osario joined a chorus of concern about the latest phase of the £12 billion Help to Buy drive. He called for the scheme to be refocused away from the overheated South East of England and said the scheme needed to be matched by a building boom.
The Mirror, p.50
However, the incoming deputy governor of the Bank of England has said although the way banks grant mortgages to customers with small deposits will be closely monitored, the UK is not in the grip of a housing bubble. Amid signs of rising house prices, he said the increase was taking place from a low base and a variation in prices around the UK. “That doesn’t to me look as if there is a bubble,” he said.
The Guardian, p.25
Tens of thousands of 14-year-olds will be taught to become chefs, health technicians and carers in one of the biggest shake-ups of secondary schools in more than 60 years. The move is the latest step in the Government’s drive to prepare teenagers better for the world of work. The career colleges will prepare students for jobs in the service sector while also teaching GCSEs in maths, English and science. They will also forge links with local employers who will design and help to deliver their curriculum.
The Times, p.1 and elsewhere