TRADE AND industry secretary Patricia Hewitt is to argue in parliament that workplace age discrimination must be ended as figures suggest it costs the economy more than £30bn annually.
The Daily Telegraph says there is much support for such a move, but warns some suspect the government will use the proposal simply as an excuse to delay payment of state pensions.
The £30bn-plus figure comes from research by the Cranfield School of Management, which bases the cost on factors such as lost production as older employees are forced to retire before the state pension age.
STAYING IN the political sphere, Equitable Life policyholders had a good day yesterday as Treasury Financial Secretary Ruth Kelly said she would contemplate increasing the powers of the parliamentary watchdog, reports The Times.
Kelly wrote in a letter to shadow financial secretary Andrew Tyrie the government would "consider" any request by the Parliamentary Ombudsman to widen her remit to investigate the stricken life company, the paper explains.
The statement follows an announcement made by Kelly two weeks ago when she admitted ministers could allow the Parliamentary Ombudsman to investigate the role of the Government Actuary’s Department in the Equitable Life debacle.
The Ombudsman, Ann Abraham, has asked MPs for submissions about whether she should reopen her investigation. And while no decision has been made on whether she will go ahead with it or not, she is expected to make up her mind before the summer recess starts on 22nd June.
WHILE EQUITABLE Life policyholders may rejoice over the latest government announcement, homeowners will be less happy about its latest house price survey, which suggests the UK property market only just edged ahead during March.
The Scotsman says the government findings show prices rose by just 0.2% during the month, taking the average house price up to £161,306.
The result is debateable as other surveys by major UK mortgage lenders point to far greater house price inflation.IFAonline
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