Thursday 26 September 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013 Posted by Hari No comments Labels:
Posted by Hari on Thursday, September 26, 2013 with No comments | Labels:

Miliband promises Labour would freeze energy bills for TWO YEARS
Hard-pressed families would see their energy bills frozen for 20 months if Labour won the election, Ed Miliband promised today. The price freeze would save the average household £120 each and businesses £1,800 on electricity and gas bills. The freeze from the 2015 election until January 2017 would take some of the pressure off squeezed family budgets, which have suffered from years of soaring bills. Households spent an average of £1,339 on gas and electricity last year – an 85 per cent rise on the £710 spent in 2000. Gas bills rocketed by 119 per cent between 2000 and last year, while electricity bills rose by 47 per cent, when adjusted for inflation. Several energy companies have also warned in recent weeks that energy prices are set to rise further in time for the cold winter months. Mr Miliband also promised to scrap the energy watchdog Ofgem and use the 20 months to overhaul the competition and transparency rules to smash the dominance of the Big Six energy firms. DAILY MAIL

Half the families hit by bedroom tax 'now in debt'
The National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, said a survey of 51 of its biggest members found more than half of their residents affected by the bedroom tax – 32,432 people – could not pay their rent between April and June. A quarter of those affected by the tax had fallen behind with their rent for the first time ever. The government policy has been dubbed the bedroom tax because housing benefit is docked by 14% if welfare claimants in social housing have a spare bedroom. According to the NHF boss, David Orr, ministers have miscalculated the number of homes available for tenants to downsize into. Although 180,000 households were "under-occupying" two bedroom homes, he says only 85,000 one-bed homes became available in 2012. GUARDIAN

Rip-off pension fees 'cost savers £27bn'
In a mammoth report, the Office of Fair Trading declared the £275 billion pensions industry has short-changed and bewildered savers and employers alike with workplace pensions that carry a complex web of up to 18 different hidden fees. An investigation revealed that nearly 1.4 million are paying up to 26% more in charges simply because they are putting money into pensions that were taken out before 2001. Previous research by the Telegraph found that hidden fees and charges meant workers pension savings could be 50% smaller than those on the Continent, despite saving the same amount. The highest annual fee in the market is 2.3% (consuming 50% of your pension pot) and the lowest 0.05%. TELEGRAPH

UK Treasury launches legal challenge against EU plans to cap bankers' bonuses
The EU rule would limit the bonus to no more than a banker's salary, although if shareholders agree it could be higher. The bonus culture has been blamed for encouraging excessive risk-taking among bankers. UK was the only member to vote against the plan. The cap is designed to come into effect on bonuses awarded from 2014. BBC NEWS

Libor: ICAP fined $87m and three traders charged with fraud
The UK broker ICAP has been fined $87m (£54m) for its part in the long-running Libor interest rate fixing scandal. In addition, three of its former traders were charged in New York with several counts of wire fraud. Libor rates are used to set trillions of dollars of financial contracts, including many car loans and mortgages, as well as complex financial transactions around the world. Regulators have been investigating manipulation of Libor inter-bank lending rates since 2012 in the wake of Barclays' £290m ($454m) fine by US and UK authorities. A string of international banks have been implicated in the affair, and several criminal charges have been brought against traders. In February 2013, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was fined £390m ($610m) by UK and US regulators for its part in the Libor scandal. The UK's Financial Services Authority fined RBS £87.5m, while about £300m was paid to US regulators and the US Department of Justice. BBC NEWS

Savers lose out on £3bn as they buy funds that charge high fees but don't even beat the market
The funds are run by handsomely paid managers who invest your cash for fees as high as 4per cent a year. They are meant to give savers returns that are better than buying a dirt-cheap robot fund, which simply follows the market up or down. But new research by wealth manager SCM Private shows savers would be £3billion better off if they had just bought a robot fund five years ago. DAILY MAIL

UK homebuyers almost £900 a year better off than people who rent despite recovery in house prices
Cheaper mortgages and lower house prices mean that UK homebuyers save £875 a year compared to those who rent, a new study has found. The scenario has changed considerably since 2008, when renting was £352 a month cheaper than buying, leaving renters £4,226 a year better off. But buying is now cheaper than renting as house prices have declined by 37 per cent since 2008. This follows the economic downturn and low mortgage rates pushed even lower over the last year by the Government's flagship Funding for Lending scheme to kick-start the housing market. DAILY MAIL


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