A new study published yesterday revealed that The City of London is increasing its lead as the most competitive economic region in the UK – despite the financial crisis and government efforts to rebalance the economy. The report looked at factors ranging from business start-up rates, education levels, gross value added, employment rates, pay and productivity across 370 regions. (p.2 of City A.M.)
Four million more households will be faced with higher energy bills this winter as yet another of the Big Six prepares to raise its prices. (Cover of The Daily Telegraph)
However, energy firms will be told not to treat customers as mere “cash cows” or to make profits “at the expense of the elderly and vulnerable”, by Minister Ed Davey at the Energy UK Annual Conference today. He said there has been a decline in the levels of trust between those who supply the energy and those who use it. Energy UK have said they are doing everything they can to ensure that everyone can keep their lights and heating on this winter (p.10 of City A.M. and p.4 of The Independent)
The latest survey from RICS shows how demand is rocketing in every part of the country but new analysis has been unveiled, which highlights the extent of the UK’s housing shortage. Colin Wilkes of Inside Housing and the housing charity Shelter have estimated that roughly 1.1% of the country is occupied by full-size gold courses – the same area that the government says is taken up by domestic buildings. The inclusion of smaller golf courses means that the full golf footprint is more than double the size. (Cover of City A.M.; RICS also mentioned on p.21 of The Times and cover of The Independent)
Critics of the government’s Help to Buy scheme warned last night that it could fail to make housing more affordable, stating that the latest RICS figures are further evidence of the market overheating. Chris Leslie, the shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has called for the Bank to launch an immediate review of the scheme rather than waiting until next year. (Cover and p.3-4 of The Independent)
According to research from business advisory company Deloitte, London has more people employed in high-skilled sectors than any other city in the world. They studied 22 sectors including: banking, legal services, digital media, culture, software development and education. It found that London had 1.5million people employed in these sectors, compared with 1.2million in New York, 784,000 in Los Angeles, 630,000 in Hong Kong, and 425,000 in Boston. The company has predicted growth of 300,000 jobs in the city by 2020, of which at least a third would be in highly skilled sectors. (p.4 of The Times).