This week the Work & Pensions Select Committee launched a formal consultation into self-employed workers’ pension benefits. The consultation will look at the possibility of automatically enrolling the self-employed onto a pension and allowing them to choose their own state pensionable age.
The move comes after the Government has come under increasing pressure to do something for the self-employed as they have mostly been excluded from recent pension policy benefits and changes, and there are more people self-employed in the UK than ever before.
Recent figures show that just under half-a-million self-employed people pay into a personal pension.
In mortgages, it has been reported that house price growth has slowed to its lowest rate since January.
Prices in November were 4.4% higher than a year earlier – whereas in October the increase year-on-year was 4.6%. According to Nationwide Building Society the average cost of a home in the UK is now £204,947.
In personal finance, the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has expressed his concern about the high level of debt in UK households.
Unsecured debt, such as on credit cards and overdrafts, is rising at its fastest pace for 11 years. Figures from the Bank of England out this week revealed that credit card lending is at a record level, up by £571million in the last month.
A report by the Bank of England has also shown that the overall ratio of household debt to income was 133% in the second quarter of this year, although it is not as high as it was during the financial crisis.
Newcastle University has found that it is “frighteningly easy” for criminals to obtain security details for visa debit or credit cards.
It is believed the same tactic was used in the recent Tesco Bank hack, where fraudsters are able to work out security code numbers and expiry dates by making multiple entry attempts on several different websites.
The university’s report has been published in a leading security and privacy journal and has named this way of defrauding as the distributed guessing attack. Visa reacted by stating that the research did not take it account other layers of security it uses.
Black Friday was a bumper one this year, with retail analysts seeing a 12% rise in online sales.
But it wasn’t just the Friday that saw great sales figures, it is estimated that from 21st November to 28th November online sales increased to an estimated £6.5billion, with £1.23billion being spend on Black Friday alone.