Lunchtime news 25 July 2014

A report out today by the Prudential has found that the cost of living for the elderly has risen much faster than the national average. According to the report, annual expenditure of people aged between 65 and 74 increased by 9 per cent as opposed to the national average of 4 per cent.

Nationwide Building Society today announced that house prices stalled in July. House price inflation rates returned to single figures, rising at an annual rate of 9.9 per cent, slower than the 10.6 per cent rate predicted, and less than the 11.1 per cent rate a month earlier in June.

The floods that have brought chaos throughout the UK continue to make news, as authorities realise they are dealing with one of the biggest public health crisis in decades. More than 350,000 people need to rely on bottled water for all their cooking and drinking needs and around 10,000 people have been removed from their homes for their own safety. Good news for Severn Trent though. As the water supplier to Gloucestershire, one of the worst affected areas, the company expects to remain on course to make profits of nearly £300 million this year.

As insurance claims look likely to top £3 billion from flood damage, insurance companies have warned that premiums are set to increase possibly 15 to 20 per cent, and that they may withdraw cover for some of the 2.2 million properties built on flood plains.