A MAJORITY of economists believe the Bank of England's interest rate decision, which is to be revealed later today, is "pretty much baked in the cake".
The Scotsman says all nine members of its ‘shadow monetary policy committee’ have all refuted the likelihood of a 0.5% rise in rates this month, arguing a quarter percentage basis point increase followed by another in September is more likely.
Douglas McWilliams was quoted by the Scotsman as saying there was a "one in five chance" of a 50 percentage basis point increase, and Tom Vosa added a 0.25% hike was "pretty much baked in the cake."
He said: "The risk the markets will be looking for is if in the subsequent minutes [of the MPC meeting] its suggests back-to-back quarter point rises in August and September."
AFTER YESTERDAY’S revelation the increase in life expectancy in Britain could add another £20m to the pension bill of the UK’s 100 biggest listed companies, another survey today suggested people living for longer could up the public pension bill with about £20m, reports the Times.
Worse still, British taxpayers are likely to be the ones having to shoulder the extra burden, the Watson Wyatt survey said, as the bill would need to be partially funded by rises in council tax.
Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, the Liberal Democrat pensions spokesman was quoted as saying: “The persistent underestimates of life expectancy by government actuaries’ departments is the hidden timebomb of the British pension system.
“Public pension provision has become an enormous blank cheque.”
THE DAILY Telegraph says Spanish bank Santander, which is bidding for Abbey, has issued a ‘subtle warning’, suggesting a possible rival takeover by HBOS would equal up to 10,000 job losses and a major branch closure programme.
A source at Santander told the Telegraph: “We think the job losses would be very substantial.
“If you look at the high street, within 50 metres of an Abbey branch there is a Halifax outlet. There would be a huge number of branch closures.”
That said, a takeover by the Spanish bank’s bid would also involve job cuts, although it forecasts the total number of job cuts over four years is likely to be less than 10% of Abbey's 25,000 UK staff.IFAonline
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