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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Real household disposable income falls for the first time since 1981

Real household disposable incomes, which is income after tax has been taken out, and then adjusted for inflation, actually fell by 0.8% in 2010, according to the Office for National Statistics. This compares with a rise of 1.1% in 2009. This is the first fall for 30 years; the biggest fall since 1977; and only the sixth since records began … Continue reading

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A neutral Budget with a few surprises

George Osborne, the chancellor, introduced his second Budget yesterday saying: “This is not a tax-raising Budget, nor can we afford a give-away.”  Basically, he was completely constrained by the emergency Budget last year and the October Spending Review. He was further handicapped by a downgrade in the forecasts for economic growth, coming from the Office for Budget Responsibility. Only five … Continue reading

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Big increase in government borrowing last month

Public sector net borrowing reached £11.8bn in February, which compares with £9.5bn borrowed in February 2010, according to the ONS. This was a record level for any February. The figure was far higher than economists had been forecasting and means that total public sector net borrowing is now at £123.5bn for the financial year to date, which is 9.6% down … Continue reading

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Shock rise in UK prices

CPI annual inflation, the government’s target measure, was 4.4% in February, which was a substantial rise on the figure of 4.0% recorded in January. Most analysts had been expecting a rise, but not by as much as this. This is the highest figure since October 2008. The main upward pressure on prices came from domestic heating costs – particularly gas, … Continue reading

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Pensioners have been ‘hit particularly hard’ by the recession

Both pensioners and the poorest households have been badly hit by the recent recession, according to a report produced by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) and funded by the BBC. The IFS estimates that in the three years from 2008 to 2011 real household incomes will have fallen by 1.6%, or £360 per year. This means that households are … Continue reading

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UK unemployment rises to 2.53 million

In the three months to January 2011, unemployment reached 2.53 million, which is the highest figure since 1994, according to figures from the ONS. This means that the unemployment rate has reached 8%, up 0.1% from the previous three-monthly period, as an additional 27,000 people lost their jobs. However, by contrast, the numbers claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (the claimant count) actually … Continue reading

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No recession for older workers

The last ten years has seen an increasing number of people aged 65 and over remaining in work, and is true of both full-time and part-time employment, according to a study recently published by the Office for National Statistics. Looking at the three months from October to December 2010, 2.7% of those aged 65 and over (270,000) worked full time, … Continue reading

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I am out of the office for a few days and will resume blogging on 11th March

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