News Headlines: Sunday 8th December

Property

The great Tory housing crisis claims the Independent as it reveals Conservative councils build only half as much affordable or social housing. An average of 403 have been built in each Labour area since the last election, compared with 201 in Tory held areas. The figures were obtained through FOI requests from shadow local government secretary Hilary Benn and are likely to be a key tool for the opposition against the coalition.

Recruitment

MPs are set to receive an 11% pay rise, despite opposition from the public and each of the main party leaders. Their annual earnings will rise from £66,396 to £74,000 from the next election. However, the rise will be offset by an end to final salary pensions for MPs and the scrapping of “golden goodbyes” for MPs who lose their seat. The pay rise is three times the average salary, and comes at a time when many employees’ pay packets have been frozen.

PF

Returns on shares beat the interest on your mortgage but should you take the risk? On offer are currently the best ten-year dixed rate mortgages at 3.84%. However, on offer currently are also the best ten year fixed rate bonds at 4%, FTSE 100 dividend yield average is at 3.5% while FTSE 100 ten year annualised return is at 7.4%. ‘Cautious investors should focus on overpauing their mortgage debt while more adventurous investors could consider splitting their money between overpayments and investing’ says Martin Bamford, a chartered financial planner at Informed Choice.

Corporate

Allegations against RBS over its handling of small businesses will take a new twist, with reports that collapsed fashion retailer Peacocks is considering a complaint to the Serious Fraud Office. This would be the first time a national chain has been involved in a complaint. The retailer is convinced the bank could have done more to support them and that options other than the sale of the firms for £23m could have been pursued. This is tipped to be the first of several such cases involving high street names, with others including Bonmarche set to raise complaints in the near future.

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