The government is to take steps to help cut the nation's £1.2trn debt mountain, reports The Daily Telegraph.
A report published jointly by the departments for Trade and Industry, Work and Pensions, and Constitutional Affairs, suggest a commitment to introduce basic personal finance onto the maths curriculum in England by 2008, and £51m to fund 500 free financial advisers as part of a beefing up of the National Debtline and the Consumer Credit Counselling Service.
More workers are to get financial advice through the workplace, and a “money box” is to be created for parents with information on maternity rights and child benefits.
The paper adds FSA figures suggest 3m people struggle with debt repayments, while the top five high street banks collectively lost more than £3bn in bad loans in the first six months of this year.
THE BANK OF ENGLAND looks less likely to raise interest rates next month, The Scotsman reports, following publication of minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee’s latest meeting.
Despite voting 6-1 to raise the base rate to 4.75% earlier this month, the minutes also show that members discussed reversing the rise later this year if data showed a clearer medium-term inflation rate.
Previous comments from Bank governor Mervyn King suggested markets should expect a continued hawkish stance on rate rises, but the latest discussions have now thrown considerable uncertainty into the discussion on just what the MPC may do next, the paper says.
HIGHER INTEREST RATES do not seem yet to have stemmed the tide of residential property investments, however, as The Times reports on CML figures suggesting the buy-to-let mortgage market is still red-hot.
The more than 152,000 advances reported by its members for the first six months of this year is up more than 50% on the same period last year, the figures claim.
That has led to fears landlords could find it tricky to cover debt loads following the latest increases in interest rates.
That said, other figures from the Association of Residential Letting Agents suggests rental yields at 5.2% in May this year was up from 4.9% in November, the paper adds.
On an associated note, The Scotsman reports that both employment and unemployment reached new highs, according to the latest figures published.
The official unemployment rate of 5.5% is the highest since February 2000, but counterbalancing that is the employment number of 28.94m, the highest ever total number of recorded people in employement since records began in 1971.
ID CARDS MOVED a step closer yesterday with the agreement by EU ministers, including home secretary John Reid, that a centralised system would be developed to measure and record biometric data of every traveller in the block.
Travellers through every single European airport will have to undergo a fingerprint or iris scan, The Scotsman says, something that has resulted in an immediate response from those against blanket introduction of more stringent identity checks.
One of the arguments against the proposals suggests that unless governments involved already have the fingerprints of every known terrorist, the system will not actually be able to identify people trying to travel possibly with the intent of committing a terrorist act.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Jonathan Boyd on 020 7484 9769 or email [email protected].IFAonline
Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till