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Childcare costs put parents in debt, survey concludes

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-14806886

Nearly a quarter of UK parents questioned in a survey by the Daycare Trust and Save the Children say the cost of childcare has put them in debt.

The survey of 4,359 parents found 58% had cut spending on other essentials like clothing, heating and other bills.

Nearly two-thirds said they could not afford not to work, but struggled to pay for childcare.

Four out of 10 families surveyed said the cost of childcare was on a par with their mortgage or rent.

Of those who completed the Daycare Trust and Save the Children questionnaire, 250 had an annual household income of £12,000 or less.

A quarter of these low-income parents said they had given up work and a third had turned down work because of childcare costs.

More than half (58%) of these families said they were no better off working and paying for childcare. This compared to just 19% of those with household incomes of more than £30,000.

Research by the Daycare Trust earlier this year found that 25 hours of nursery care a week in England for a child under the age of two would cost, on average, more than £5,000 a year.

In Wales it was about £4,700, while in Scotland parents faced an average nursery bill of £5,178 a year.

Edited by Shotoflight
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Childcare costs put parents in debt, survey concludes

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-14806886

Nearly a quarter of UK parents questioned in a survey by the Daycare Trust and Save the Children say the cost of childcare has put them in debt.

The survey of 4,359 parents found 58% had cut spending on other essentials like clothing, heating and other bills.

Nearly two-thirds said they could not afford not to work, but struggled to pay for childcare.

Four out of 10 families surveyed said the cost of childcare was on a par with their mortgage or rent.

Of those who completed the Daycare Trust and Save the Children questionnaire, 250 had an annual household income of £12,000 or less.

A quarter of these low-income parents said they had given up work and a third had turned down work because of childcare costs.

More than half (58%) of these families said they were no better off working and paying for childcare. This compared to just 19% of those with household incomes of more than £30,000.

Research by the Daycare Trust earlier this year found that 25 hours of nursery care a week in England for a child under the age of two would cost, on average, more than £5,000 a year.

In Wales it was about £4,700, while in Scotland parents faced an average nursery bill of £5,178 a year.

I was listening to this on the radio this morning and thought of you Shoto. I guess the only hope for me is to get sterilized. Its impossible to buy the average house and have an averaged sized family. :unsure:

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A little more relevant

Northern Ireland parents pay 45% of income on childcare costs

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/northern-ireland-parents-pay-45-of-income-on-childcare-costs-16046264.html

Parents in Northern Ireland are hit harder for childcare costs than their counterparts in the rest of the UK, according to research.

The average spend in Northern Ireland for childcare is 45% of parents' income, compared to 33% of parents' income in Britain.

Last week a report by the Aviva insurance group revealed that parents could be better off staying at home as the cost of childcare is making it too expensive to remain working.

It claimed that, rather than being better off, some working mothers could be financially worse off by almost £100 a month.

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Fuel poverty levels to soar in Northern Ireland

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/fuel-poverty-levels-to-soar-in-northern-ireland-16046252.html

Figures from the 2009 Housing Conditions Survey revealed that 44% of all Ulster homes (302,000) were living in fuel poverty, up 17% from the 2001 figure of 27%.

Households are deemed to be in extreme fuel poverty when they spend over 20% of their income on heat and light.

Edited by Shotoflight
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A little more relevant

Northern Ireland parents pay 45% of income on childcare costs

Last week a report by the Aviva insurance group revealed that parents could be better off staying at home as the cost of childcare is making it too expensive to remain working.

This is 100% true ... not pie in the sky, not clutching at straws ... FACT.

Affordability/Income ratios based on dual incomes isn't just as straightforward as some may think.

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No need for the snip.

Women putting off pregnancy plans because of the recession

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/woman/life/women-putting-off-pregnancy-plans-because-of-the-recession-16045700.html

Sure there will be less babies anyway as apparently everyone will be too busy booking holidays and watching their widescreen TV's to deal with pro-creation ;);):blink:

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This is 100% true ... not pie in the sky, not clutching at straws ... FACT.

Affordability/Income ratios based on dual incomes isn't just as straightforward as some may think.

I agree 100%. I think the problem now is going to be how the banks judge affordability. I know HSBC limit the amount customers can borrow if they have dependant children - they also count the other partner (if not working) as a dependant.

I know other banks will lend 4.5-5 times joint income to a young couple. I had this offered. This is a ticking time bomb.

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Further to the recent insurance story and stubbornly high fuel costs

Ulster highest in UK for car dependency

Article is 3 yrs old

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/ulster-highest-in-uk-for-car-dependency-13989457.html

Northern Ireland’s motorists are the most dependent car users in the UK despite running costs jumping by 19% in the last year, according to the RAC.

Annual costs for an average family car have now soared to £2,435, which is a year-on-year increase of £277.

When added together the cost of finance packages, depreciation and insurance, the average annual cost has jumped from £5,133 in 2007 to £6,133 this year, with the average weekly cost rising from £98.71 to £117.94.

2010 report below - 2011 should be out soon

http://media.rac.co.uk/pdf/2010-rac-cost-of-motoring.pdf

Edited by Shotoflight
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Link shamelessly stolen from main house price & economy thread. Thanks to Erranta.

Wall St Journal

http://blogs.wsj.com/source/2011/09/08/u-k-house-builders-need-to-ponder-armageddon/

Sept 8 2011 US 'Investment' article

If true, that spells trouble for the nation’s home builders. Those who haven’t done so should follow Taylor Wimpey‘s lead and amass sufficient capital to weather a 30% fall in house prices.

Average home prices should be around 3 times to 3.5 times annual household income, but in Britain they are still more than four times the mean wage. Yet consensus estimates for the house building industry imply a 3% average rise in house prices for 2012.

That’s despite indications from the Institute for Fiscal Studies that household incomes are actually falling. Combine all that with fiscal austerity, the absence of growth drivers and the historical tendency of prices to sharply over-correct, and the headwind becomes all too apparent.

Since 2007, a 1% fall in house prices has corresponded to a 2.7% fall in volume (houses sold). That relationship is unlikely to be linear, but if past trends offer any indication, a 30% fall in house prices could lead to a short term 80% fall in volume.

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Pump prices set for record high, says AA

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/motoring/pump-prices-set-for-record-high-says-aa-16047358.html

Pump prices have been forced up by unrest in the Middle East, fuel duty increases and a VAT hike to 20%.

The AA August Fuel Report revealed that Northern Ireland has the most expensive petrol and diesel than anywhere else in the UK - for the fifth time this year.

Experts claim that part of the problem is a relentless rise in the cost of a barrel of oil, which has soared from $110 in late August to $116.4 today

In a report by Sainsbury's Finance it emerged that the cost of running a car is up by 21% since April 2010, resulting in over one million people in the UK being forced off the road.

Research has also suggested that the average Northern Ireland family has seen its annual income fall by around £600 a year.

Direct flights to United States facing fresh threat

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/travel/direct-flights-to-united-states-facing-fresh-threat-16047347.html

Continental is currently making a loss on the route because it is absorbing the £3.2 million APD levy on flights out of Belfast in order to keep prices competitive with its own flights to Newark from Dublin.

Conor McAuliffe, Continental's managing director of Europe, said a family-of-four flying from Belfast would be subject to £240 in APD, but "if they go on the modern road to Dublin Airport they are paying €12".

Note the family of four used, as an average ;)

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The debate goes mainstream - well, on HPC anyway.

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=169035

Very interesting to see discussions materialising around affordability. What you are getting on a forum like this is real case scenarios... i.e The truth.

Its also a good sign to see that it is being given some thought by potential buyers, who may have in the past jumped in without any second thoughts and loaded themselves with debt.

Maybe the re-education of folk is happening already ... common sense begins to prevail! Someone tell EA's and vendors to catch up!

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UK example - " Typical Middle Britain Family". Much worse to come.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/sep/09/family-living-standards-fall-tuc

In a report released ahead of next week's TUC congress [download], the TUC said a two-earner family with two children living in the East Midlands will experience a living standards gap of £2,000 this year, with that divide widening to £4,600 by 2013.

The TUC has published a study showing that working families will see their living standards fall by more than £4,600 by 2013 as sub-inflation wages, benefit changes and public spending cuts turn the screw on households.

The figures were calculated by combining the impact of inflation on wages, how changes to tax and benefits will hit income, and the value of services that will be taken away by cuts.

And many will have to wait longer for their state pension.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/74c82a10-dc7e-11e0-8654-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1XgLJDtRI

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http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/northern-ireland-winter-will-be-even-worse-than-last-year-16046770.html

heating bills up and a worse winter than last year forecast. Those energy efficient houses look more attractive by the day.

Pensioners to lose up to £100 in winter fuel payments

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/mar/24/pensioners-lose-winter-fuel-payments

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BBC take. Not much different.

Its only just begun.Ten more years.

Factor that into your mortgage application.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14879003

Household budgets could be squeezed for the next 10 years as the impact of tax rises and cuts is felt, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned.

Its survey suggests families have seen the biggest fall in living standards in 30 years in the last financial year.

IFS researchers estimated this was likely to have led to a fall in median net household income of 3.5%, the largest single-year drop since 1981, returning it to its 2003-04 level.

The pain of the recession had been delayed rather than avoided, they concluded.

"But, as in other developed countries, the most severe consequences of the recession on UK living standards have only just begun to be felt, and will continue to be felt for years to come."

Economist Mike Smith on Radio Ulster this am re Vickers report.

Banking and loans to get dearer

Wave of cheap money and loans of early 2000s are a thing of the past and won't be coming back.

Very much the boiling frog scenario where the public are very slowly waking up to, or are being told about, the reality of what is going on.

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More debt, please!

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/debt-amongst-northern-irelands-young-soars-to-08m-16048410.html

Young people in Northern Ireland went into the red by £0.8 million last year - a rise of almost 5%, as debts fell across the rest of the UK.

Alarming new figures issued by a leading charity also indicated that the average debt level here is almost £2,000 more than in other regions.

Among the CCCS's statistics was the news that the under-25s who contacted the charity for help last year owed on average £8,272 in unsecured debts. The UK average for people in the same age group was £1,956 less at £6,316.

Their findings also showed that in 2010 the average CCCS client's monthly income here was £55 short of the amount needed to cover basic living expenses, never mind repay debt

CCCS data also indicated that across all age groups, average debt levels in Northern Ireland bucked the downward UK trend and rose by 4.9%.

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Inflation rises to 4.5pc on higher energy costs

UK household finances were under increased pressure last month as rising utility bills pushed the official inflation rate up to 4.5pc.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/8759223/Inflation-rises-to-4.5pc-on-higher-energy-costs.html

Economists warned worse was yet to come.

"This is the calm before the storm. The bulk of the utility bill increases will hit in September – pushing inflation up to over 5pc," said Alan Clarke, economist at Scotia Capital.

Batten down the hatches

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I think we now have all angles covered.

Cost of dying 'has risen by £400'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14899627

The costs related to death, such as a funeral and a headstone, have collectively risen by £400 in a year to £7,248, a report says.

The cost is 20% higher than four years ago, according to the report commissioned by financial services company Sun Life Direct.

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Is a £175,000 mortgage typical?

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/city-news/2011/09/13/fury-as-homeowners-face-7m-bill-for-shake-up-of-bank-system-that-caused-financial-crash-115875-23416498/

HOMEOWNERS face a financial clobbering as greedy banks are expected to pass on the cost of a massive shake-up, experts warned last night.

Reforms announced yesterday will add £20,000 to a typical mortgage because lenders are likely to claw back the £7billion they’ll fork out to implement them from beleaguered customers. The cost of loans could be hiked and savings rates trimmed.

The Centre for Economics and ­Business Research estimates the reforms, include forcing banks to ring-fence their high street ­businesses from risky “casino” banking, would increase the cost of borrowing by “about 0.7% a year”.

Chief executive, Professor Doug McWilliams, said: “The reforms are a double-edged sword. Everyone wants the banks to be more secure to reduce the risk of the need for future bail-outs. But this will come at a cost and consumers seem certain to pick up much of the tab.”

A rise of 0.7% would add £804 a year to the cost of a typical £175,000 ­mortgage, or £20,100 over the 25-year life of the loan, according to research by David Hollingworth, of London & Country brokers.

A £175,000 mortgage would see repayments jump from £876 to £943 a month.

Edited by Shotoflight
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Ulster Bank chief: price rises to hit us hardest

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/business-news/ulster-bank-chief-price-rises-to-hit-us-hardest-16049565.html

Ulster Bank chief economist Richard Ramsey said Northern Ireland's households had most to fear from rising inflation if the coming winter is as harsh as last year.

"Given Northern Ireland's low wages, relative to the UK, and higher incidence of fuel poverty, it will be more adversely affected than the UK as a whole."He added that August's update revealed the impact of the credit crunch on inflation four years after the financial crisis began.

"UK CPI is up 14.7% in four years or around 3.7% per annum, so for individuals to have maintained their standard of living during the last four years they would have had to experience a rise in after-tax earnings of 3.7% per annum.

"Those individuals who have received an annual pay rise (even before tax) of this amount will be the exception not the rule.

"Those individuals in lower income households and pensioners will have a much higher inflation rate as they spend a higher proportion of their income on necessities - ie, food and fuel. Food prices are now some 29% higher now than they were four years ago."

Edited by Shotoflight
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No Respite

Northern Ireland electricity prices could rise again

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-14946211

The electricity regulator, Ofreg, surprised politicians on Stormont's enterprise committee with news that planned investment could push prices up by over 12%.

'No benefit' from dip in oil cost

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/business-news/no-benefit-from-dip-in-oil-cost-16050623.html

A 7% drop in the value of the pound against the dollar since August has denied drivers the possibility of a 2p per litre price cut on petrol, the motoring organisation said.

Prices dipped around 1.5p in August but have climbed again leaving petrol and diesel within a fraction of their all-time high seen in May, even though the market prices of crude oil fell by over 10%.

The AA estimates £12.6m a day is being "siphoned" away from the high street and other spending into fuel sales.

Judge gets tough with uninsured drivers

400 in court in one week!. Are more drivers uninsured than insured in NI? Perhaps I should remove the cost of car insurance from my fictional average outgoings. Wonder do these people think house insurance is also an "optional extra".

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/judge-gets-tough-with-uninsured-drivers-16050572.html

As the cases of more than 400 alleged offenders are listed for mention in magistrates’ courts across Northern Ireland over the next week, Mr King said he also intends to ask the PSNI to adopt a “zero tolerance” approach and seize vehicles from anyone caught behind the wheel while uninsured.

“I want the general public to know that anyone who appears before this court for driving without insurance, the financial penalty I currently impose will be doubled,” said Mr King.

In the most extreme cases, district judges can impose a fine of up to £5,000 and/or a six-month jail term.

PSNI officers also have the power to seize vehicles from uninsured motorists under Article 21 of the Road Traffic NI Order.

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UK specific but not without local relevance - interesting piece on 'averages'

House prices: average deposit now £66,000 - (11 times higher than 1990)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/mortgages/8769113/House-prices-average-deposit-now-66000.html

Research from bank first direct found that the average deposit has leapt from £6,600 to £66,000 since 1990 due to increasing house prices, and a reduction in mortgage levels.

The average household income has risen 2.3 times in the same period, meaning that people must save for far longer to buy a home.

First Direct - part of HSBC - said that 2010 was the most difficult year to buy a house in the last twenty years.

The average house price is 6.3 times the average household income, and the average deposit is 1.7 times the average income.

In 1995 and 1996 - the easiest years to buy a home - the average deposit was 3.4 times the average income, and the average deposit was 0.3 times the average income.

"Much has been made of rising house prices, but the average deposit needed in the first place has actually risen more than twice as fast as house prices and almost four times as fast as income," he said. "This is why we are seeing first time buyers getting older, with more and more people struggling to get on the property ladder."

The average age of a first-time buyer has risen to 35, and over half of those who are not on the property ladder think that they will never be able to afford to buy a home, according to recent research from Post Office mortgages.

In contrast, those who bought their first home in the early 1960s were on average just 23 years old,

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What we already know.

Pay rises well below inflation for many, report finds

Millions of workers are effectively being given pay cuts after receiving below inflation pay rises in the past year,

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8782828/Pay-rises-well-below-inflation-for-many-report-finds.html

The study of the salaries of 7.9million workers found that the average person won a boost of less than half the rate of inflation of 5.2%.

One in six workers have had their pay frozen, most of whom were in the public sector, the researchers found.

Over a fifth of employees now have salary increases linked to their performance, which the study concluded often led to a higher wage rise than the individual might have received otherwise.

Experts said that pay rises would be likely to remain low until January at least.

They noted that most employers had not attempted to replace any lost pay increase by offering alternative benefits.

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