LPW Blog archive

Inequality in Britain is worse than ever according to a new study into childhood. Millions of children face ‘multiple deprivation‘ in adulthood as a result of the circumstances of their birth, the report – Reducing Inequalities – found. Using data from a study which tracked the lives of 17,000 people born after 1970 they found that 10 factors in childhood, including the home the child is brought up in, their parents’ jobs, and the family income, all have a huge impact on the child’s future prospects.

With repossessions up 30 per cent over the past year to their highest level for seven years, and expected to double to more than 45,000 next year, a new ‘sale and rent-back’ scheme may not be the answer to debt problems. The scheme – where you sell your home at below market rates, then use the proceeds to clear mortgages and other debts whilst becoming a tenant in the house – may look attractive but in reality people are vastly underselling their home’s value, in some cases by up to 65 per cent. In return they are left at the mercy of some unscrupulous owners who offer only assured short-term tenancies, which can change if the house is then sold again. Unlike equity release schemes, these schemes are currently unregulated.

If you want a good lifestyle at an affordable price, then look no further than Beverely, East Yorkshire. The town came top of 20 British towns and cities in the inaugural Royal Bank of Scotland report. Maidstone in Kent came second, and Chester third. The affordable affluence’ index also threw up some surprises, featuring Huddersfield, Solihull and Salford. A spokesman from RBS said that: ‘A moderately wealthy lifestyle is well within the reach of more people than probably realise it’.

The government is raising billions of pounds more in green taxes than it needs to remove the UK’s carbon footprint, according to the Taxpayers’ Alliance. The alliance calculated that in 2005 emissions had damaged the environment to the tune of £11.7 billion, yet green taxes and charges raised £21.9 billion, so that UK households were ‘overtaxed’ by £400 a year. A YouGov poll of 2,000 adults found that the 63 per cent of those asked agreed with the statement: ‘Politicians are not serious about the environment and are using the issue as an excuse to raise more revenue from green taxes’.