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Thursday, 18 June 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015 Posted by Jake No comments Labels:
Posted by Jake on Thursday, June 18, 2015 with No comments | Labels:

Average monthly London rents hit £1,500 for first time
According to data collected by HomeLet, rents have shot up 12.5% across the country with tenants on average asked to fork out £751 a month outside the capital. Its survey also shows rental costs over the past three months has gone up five times faster than tenant income. The sharp rise in figures since the election will add to the pressure on workers who find themselves locked out of the first-time buyers market because they don’t have enough disposable income to save for the hefty deposit banks require before approving mortgages. The spike in rental reflects the general crisis in the UK with a shortage of housing pushing the cost of buying a property beyond the reach of many first-time buyers. This in turn has created an overheated demand for rental properties, says HomeLet. The increase over the past year is five times greater than it was two years ago when the year-on-year increase was 2.6%. Only three regions in the country have shown a decline in rental prices – the north west, east Anglia and Yorkshire and Humber. GUARDIAN

Pay low-income families more to boost economic growth, says IMF (unless you’re Greek, apparently!)
The idea that increased income inequality makes economies more dynamic has been rejected by an International Monetary Fund study, which shows the widening income gap between rich and poor is bad for growth. The report dismissed “trickle-down” economics, and said that if governments wanted to increase the pace of growth they should concentrate on helping the poorest 20% of citizens. The study – covering advanced, emerging and developing countries – said technological progress, weaker trade unions, globalisation and tax policies that favoured the wealthy had all played their part in making widening inequality “the defining challenge of our time”. The study, however, reflects the tension between the IMF’s economic analysis and the more hardline policy advice given to individual countries such as Greece, which need financial support. During its negotiations with Athens, the IMF has been seeking to weaken workers’ rights, but the research paper found that the easing of labour market regulations was associated with greater inequality and a boost to the incomes of the richest 10%. GUARDIAN

Government plans law change to stop “fake” apprenticeships
Under the plans, unauthorised use of the term would be illegal, as is already the case for the use of the term degree. To legally describe training as an apprenticeship, schemes would have to provide at least a year's training and meet other requirements. In a statement, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills said the legislation would give the government power to take action if the term is "misused to promote low-quality courses". Last month a report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and the Local Government Association criticised apprenticeships for failing to tackle youth unemployment. "There is a big gap between the function apprenticeships should have in our economy and how they're being used in practice... The majority of apprenticeships are being used to train older people, and those who are already employed at their company, instead of taking on young people out of work." said the IPPR. The government has itself pledged to create three million apprenticeships by 2020. To help reach that target, public bodies, including hospitals, schools and the police, will be set targets to take on more apprentices. BBC NEWS

Doubts cast on George Osborne over RBS sell-off as Andrew Tyrie questions £14.3bn profit claim
Tory MP Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the Treasury select committee, cast doubt on chancellor George Osborne’s claims taxpayers stand to make a £14bn profit from the 2008 banking bailout. Osborne unveiled plans on Wednesday to start selling a 79 per cent stake in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) – but at a loss to taxpayers who bailed out the bank. Osborne explained, citing a report published by advisory firm Rothschild, that a £7.2bn loss on the sale would be cushioned by a gain made on the sale of other state-owned assets like Lloyds. Overall, Rothschild estimated a £14.3bn surplus for the Treasury from its interventions in the banking sector. But Tyrie said Osborne’s calculation “...would benefit from a great deal of qualification... It excludes the cost of funding the bailouts (£17bn)....And it treats fees paid in exchange for a service as if they were income, or recoveries.” Shares in RBS were at 361.5p yesterday. after the sell-off plans were unveiled. The government would need to sell shares at 407p to break even on its £45bn 2008 recapitalisation of the bank. The first sale of shares is set to come in the next 12 months but could be as soon as September. CITY AM


Paying off mortgage by the time you retire no longer 'a reality' as quarter of first-time buyers need terms that last into retirement
A quarter of 25-34-year-olds fear they will need a mortgage that lasts beyond their working life, a survey by the Building Societies Association reveals. With many Britons living longer, buying homes later in life and retiring later, obtaining a mortgage that stretches past the traditional age of 65 could start to be the 'new normal', the BSA says. But the research - which quizzed more than 2,000 people - found 27 per cent in the 25-34 age group worry they will struggle to obtain a mortgage into retirement because their credit history, income level or age will count against them. The average first-time buyer is now 36. In the South-West the figure is 41, data shows. At the same time, borrowers are seeking to lengthen mortgage terms to make repayments more affordable. The traditional 25-year mortgage term is being replaced by 30, 35 and even 40 years terms. DAILY MAIL

National Lottery bosses accused of ripping off players after adding 10 extra balls to the draw
Camelot announced the biggest change in the game’s 21-year history which will see punters choose six numbers from 59 instead of 49. Players reacted angrily, with the National Lottery Facebook page flooded with accusations of “shameless greed” and threats to boycott the draw. Camelot said the “enhancements”, due in October, will give players a better chance of winning and better odds of becoming a millionaire, with a new Millionaire Raffle guaranteeing at least two winners each week. The operator said the chances of winning a million will improve to 10 million to one, but Lottery expert Professor Ian Walker said the odds of scooping the top prize will rocket from 1 in 13,983,816 to 1 in 45,057,474. Professor Walker, of Lancaster University Management School, said: “The chance of winning the jackpot lengthens considerably. EXPRESS

Watchdog criticises dentists over new patient claims and waiting lists
A third of dentists who claim they are accepting new patients do not, while many that do leave their patients with lengthy waits, consumer watchdog Which? has found. Its team of undercover researchers found that of the 500 dental surgeries advertised as accepting new patients on NHS Choices, 37% said they did not have availability, while of those that could offer an appointment, 36% said they would have to wait two weeks. One surgery said it would be eight to nine months before an appointment would be available. Which? said such issues were previously identified by the Office of Fair Trading in its dentistry report in 2012, yet three years on the sector has failed to deliver on the recommendations made. The British Dental Association (BDA) said a “comprehensively flawed payments system at the heart of NHS dentistry” was a big factor. Since April 2006, NHS dentists in England and Wales have been paid according to how many Units of Dental Activity (UDA) they do in a year, rewarding dentists for completed treatment on the basis of a “points” system, which the BDA said has fuelled waiting lists. The BDA said: “The government remains committed to a byzantine system that has failed both dentists and their patients. From day one, these arbitrary targets have proved a real obstacle for new NHS patients. Dentists often have more patients lining up than they have UDAs, but the UDA must come first. GUARDIAN

IoD index to put spotlight on worst corporate governance
Banks, supermarkets and service companies have the worst corporate governance in the FTSE 100, according to an index of boardroom behaviour being compiled by the Institute of Directors (IoD). According to initial IoD findings, Barclays, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group are ranked in the bottom 16 along with supermarkets Tesco and WM Morrison, services company G4S and sports retailer Sports Direct. In the top ranking are the likes of technology company ARM Holdings, satellite company Inmarsat and oil company Shell. The IoD is constructing the index after a string of scandals, ranging from the banking crisis in 2008 to the accounting problems at Tesco, in a bid to predict the next reputational hit to the UK’s biggest companies. “The reputation of corporate Britain took an almighty kicking during the financial crisis, and several years later, is still on its knees,” said Simon Walker, IoD director general. The IoD criticised the City’s corporate governance code, which operates on a comply-and-explain basis and sets out standards for the composition of boards, such as splitting the roles of chairman and chief executive. Ken Olisa, the businessman who is leading the IoD project, said the corporate governance codes were not enough to police boardrooms. “Identifying symptoms of governance failures, and then drawing up check lists to eradicate them leaves us in the position of always fighting the last battle. The financial crisis was not caused by a lack of rules, it was caused by behaviour which was clearly egregious to any outside observer. Unfortunately the UK seems to have learned little since the crisis, sticking to a prescriptive set of attributes aimed at creating the cardboard cut-out perfect company,” he said. The IoD is a leading voice of business, with 38,000 members ranging from bosses of multinationals to entrepreneurs running start-ups. GUARDIAN

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