Cost of living news latest: Pension age 'may rise to 70'; conservatory could knock large amount off house value (2023)

Key points
  • State pension could be 'raised to 70 by 2050'
  • 'Naff' conservatories could knock £15,000 off your house value
  • Government warns some benefit recipients won't receive £301 support payment next week
  • Inflation should start to fall more substantially now | Gurpreet Narwan
  • The best savings account to fight inflation
  • Budgeting Mum: Do food subscriptions save you money?
  • Money-saving hacks: Weddings| Cheaper flights


Are we putting on weight due to the cost of living crisis?

According to the survey of 2,000 adults, more than a fifth (23%) now weigh more than a year ago, and 58%believe that the economic crisis has contributed to their weight gain.

And 31%prefer the price of food to its healthiness. In fact, 18%said they are making more unhealthy dietary changes now than before the living squeeze began.

Since the end of 2021, 80%of adults said they were worried about rising food prices.

Dr Jacquie Lavin, a special advisor on the science of weight management at Slimming World, told The Independent: "It's well documented the cost-of-living crisis is having a big impact on people's buying habits.

"This research shows that 31% of people are prioritising the cost of food over how healthy it is.

"Without the right support, there is a very real possibility that the financial crisis could make it even more difficult for people to manage their weight and health."


Tesla discounts on way as interest in new electric cars takes nosedive

Returning now to a story we told you about this morning - the apparent decline in interest in new electric cars (interest is down 65% since January 2022, according to Auto Trader).

Perhaps in response to this trend, Tesla boss Elon Musk has signalled more discounts are ahead to boost demand.

Musk seems prioritising price reductions over profits, signalling (following the publication of the firm's latest quarterly results) that further price cuts were on the way as Tesla moves to bolster sales and market share in the tough economy.

Read the full story here...


Eight essential items food banks need

The cost of living crisis has led to more people relying on food banks, as well as increased costs for the banks themselves.

The Trussell Trust, a network of food banks across the UK, says some of their sites have faced a shortfall in essential items needed for food parcels.

If you're thinking of donating, but aren't sure what to give, the charity has released a list of eight essential items its food banks need:

  1. UHT milk - including semi and whole milk
  2. Tinned meat - including meat that can be cooked or eaten cold
  3. Long-life juice or squash
  4. Tinned fruit - including peaches, mixed fruit and pineapple
  5. Instant noodles
  6. Coffee
  7. Tinned vegetables - including potatoes, mixed veg and carrots
  8. Puddings - including rice pudding, Angel Delight and jelly
(Video) Sky News Breakfast: Government cuts benefits to some of Britain's poorest families


What are the best networks for freebies?

This spring millions of customers will be hit by price hikes of up to 17% by their network providers.

But there are lots of perks on offer by mobile network providers that could make your contract more cost-effective.

A study by Uswitch.comhas ranked the perks...

Lebara ranked best for supermarket deals

The perks will appeal to those that love to spot a supermarket deal, as they include £7 off your first Iceland order, £20 off your Ocado first food shop over £60, 55% off your first Gousto box and £10 off your first purchase from Jimmy's Iced Coffee.

These offers can be redeemed in the first month of your contract, meaning that you could benefit from £92.24 worth of perks as soon as you switch over to your Lebara SIM only contract.

O2 best for the tech savvy

When it comes to the most valuable perks over a longer period, O2 comes out on top.

As well as its weekly free weekly Gregg's coffee, sausage roll and a breakfast roll, the network is good for those interested in technology and entertainment.

Customers with O2 Priority can enjoy free Apple TV, Apple Fitness and Peloton subscription for three months as well as a Disney+ subscription for £5.99 per month.

You can also gain access to priority tickets for music concerts and if you are a resident of London take advantage of 30% off "Up at the O2" tickets and climb over the O2 arena.

Vodafone best for foodies

(Video) Mortgaged millennials to bitterly cold boomers: The cost of living crisis across generations

Vodafone's customers can earn up to £206.08 in their first month.

Food and drink deals that can been redeemed include 20% off Just Eat orders, 25% off local coffee shops with Local Blend, 25% off food & drink and 2 for 1 meals at local restaurants, 50% off Wine52 and 50% off a Cookable online course.

This is in addition to the three months' free Spotify Premium and two Vue tickets for £7 the network provides customers.


Foxtons cashes in on London rents aided by 'longer non-cancellable tenancy deals'

The London-focused estate agency Foxtons has recorded a 27% leap in lettings revenue, partly aided by a focus on securing "longer non-cancellable terms" from tenants.

The company reported a 10% increase in total revenue to £32.9m during the first three months of the year - driven by its lettings division which contributed £22.8m of that sum.

Poor availability and high demand saw rents rise by aninflation-busting 20% in 2022, with the most recent data from HomeLet showing costs still going up.

The average London monthly rent stands at just under £2,000, it reported.

Longer tenancy terms are potentially attractive to all parties.

That is because landlords have greater sight over their short term yields while such deals also give tenants clarity over their costs, despite being locked in for longer.

The shortage of properties is a strong bargaining chip for Foxtons while a recent report for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors warned that fierce competition for rented properties would continue to squeeze prices higher.

It described the lettings market as "frenzied".

Read the full story here...


Cheap recipes using... onions

They can be sweet, sour, tangy and savoury, add a dash of piquancy to a dish or maybe even a milder aroma.

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What on earth could offer such flavours? Yes, it's the versatile onion.

From the sliced onions in your favourite burger to a traditional French onion soup, the vegetables are relatively cheap - helping you save on those pennies - and can be used for an array of dishes.

So pick up a few the next time you pass the supermarket and help your food budget in the process.

As for a few recipes you could start with - why not try out these?

French onion soup

  • Melt butter in a large saucepan and add the onions, water andgenerous amount of salt;
  • Stir and then put the lid on and cook over a medium heat for 45 minutes;
  • Once the onions are a pale golden brown colour, add garlic and cookfor a few minutes;
  • Add sugar and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the onions are a rich golden colour;
  • Pour in stock and add seasoning.

Caramelised onion and butter pasta

  • Slice an onion and cook over a gentle heat with butter and garlic;
  • When the onion is cooked, add the cooked pasta;
  • Add seasoning and cheese if you wish and enjoy!


Housing crisis could be made worse by UK net zero targets

The housing crisis could be exacerbated by the UK's net zero targets and mortgage lenders must "stop adopting a blinkered approach" and targeting only the most efficient properties, a financial expert has warned.

Speaking to the London Institute of Banking, David Geale, director of retail banking at the FCA, said energy efficiency rules could create more challenges for prospective buyers trying to get their foot on the property ladder.

He said lenders "adopting a blinkered approach" and targeting only the most efficient properties would have the "unintended consequence" of making it difficult, or very expensive, for people to secure a mortgage for properties with lower energy efficiency.

"It would also penalise those homeowners who are not currently able to make those improvements without help, and may become - or already be - vulnerable," he said.

"There is also a separate risk that innovation in products and incentives could run ahead of consumer demand."

Minimum energy efficacy standards were introduced by the government last year.

There is also a target for mortgage lenders to ensure properties on their loan books average an energy performance rating of C by 2030.


Is it worth signing up for a food subscription service?

Over the last few months we have been working with Budgeting Mum, the personal finance influencer who has tens of thousands of followers on TikTok, to bring you money saving tips.

In her latest video, Beth looks at whether it is worth signing up to food subscription services, such as HelloFresh and Gousto, as food prices rise.

She buys four meal plans from Gousto - each providing four servings - which cost her a total of £51.84.

Beth then buys the same ingredients from an online shop at Tesco.

What the video to see which worked out cheaper...

(Video) The Cost of Living Crisis


How much has your shop gone up? Use our spending calculator

Prices have increased over the past 12 months by 10.1% on average, putting pressure on already stretched household budgets.

But how much has your individual spending gone up? Use our calculator to see how much prices are rising on the groceries, clothing, and leisure activities you pay for.


Half of professionals would avoid a company over mismatched values - survey

Over half of professionals in the UK wouldn't work for a company that doesn't align with their values, a survey suggests.

New research from LinkedIn indicates workers' priorities may be shifting, with many not prepared to compromise on their values.

A March survey of 2,065 workers aged over 18 on behalf of the job site reveals 58% wouldn't work for a company that doesn’t share their values - with half saying that not even a pay rise would change their minds (53%).

Despite this, LinkedIn says salary is still the number one priority for jobhunters.

Its research suggests younger workers are more likely to make a career sacrifice over mismatched values than those in older generations, with 90% of "Gen Z" respondents giving this answer, compared to 79% in "Gen X" and 74% of "baby boomers".

A fifth of professionals are currently considering leaving their jobs, the research found - and six in 10 job seekers say they are in search of companies that demonstrate a commitment to the values they hold in high esteem.

(Video) Young Generations Are Now Poorer Than Their Parents And It's Changing Our Economies


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