UK houses now cost almost eight times average earnings, says ONS

The average house price to earnings ratio has hit 7.77, up from 7.6 in 2016 and the highest in the official time series going back to 2002
Workers in England and Wales need to fork out almost eight times their annual income in order to buy an average house, according to the latest official estimates, underlining how unaffordable house purchasing has become for many.
Read more The UK economy suffers if millennials become permanent renters The Office for National Statistics reported on Thursday that average house in 2017 rose 4.5 per cent to £225,000.
However, median gross annual full-time earnings in 2017 were £28,952, up only 2.1 per cent over the 12 months.
Those figures meant that the average house price to earnings ratio has hit 7.77, up from 7.6 in 2016 and the highest in the official time series.
Banks and building societies will typically only lend people mortgages up to 4.5 times their gross salary, although home buying couples can combine their incomes for this measure…

TSB waives overdraft fees and increases interest rate but customers still locked out

Chief executive Paul Pester refuses to commit to giving up £1.6m bonus over IT fiasco
TSB is waiving all overdraft fees in April and has increased the interest rate on its current account to 5 per cent, but half of its customers still can’t access online banking as an IT fiasco stretches into its seventh day.
Chief executive Paul Pester repeatedly refused to commit to waiving his bonus over serious failures that also allowed some people to view other customers’ financial details.
When probed on the BBC’s Today Programme, the under-fire bank boss said that pay was the “last thing on [his] mind”.
Read more TSB customers still locked out, bank claims systems 'up and running' When quizzed again on whether he would commit to forgoing the bonus, which could be as much as £1.6m, Mr Pester said, “That is a question for the board; for the remuneration committee.”
He admitted that the situation was “not good enough” and said that he was “putting things right”.
“Many customers..

London housing crisis forcing workers to quit their jobs, says CBI survey

More than a quarter of the leading firms in the capital who responded said some employees had been leaving because they cannot afford to live in the local area
London’s housing crisis is forcing employees to quit their jobs and making it difficult for firms to recruit staff, according to a new survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
The business organisation said 28 per cent of the 176 leading firms in the capital who responded said that some of their employees had left because they could not afford to live in the local area.
High housing costs in the capital are also apparently hampering the ability of firms to recruit entry-level staff, with 66 per cent of respondents citing them as having a negative impact. That was up from 57 per cent in 2015.
Read more The UK economy suffers if millennials become permanent renters The survey suggests the housing situation is hampering the expansion of flexible working for employees too, with 36 per cent of firms claiming the ..

Morrisons pledges to make all its packaging recyclable by 2025

The supermarket has already banned the sale of single use carrier bags
Morrisons has pledged to make all its own-brand packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 amid a range plans to reduce plastic use within its stores.
The supermarket will allow customers to use their own containers to buy meat and fish from its butcher and fishmonger counters, and will trial the removal of plastic packaging from fruit and vegetables in a number of stores.
It is also replacing the black plastic trays used for fish and meat with recyclable packaging materials, with a target of phasing out the trays by the end 2019.
Read more Packaging must be next in sight for plastic ban, say campaigners UK to ban sale of plastic straws and drinks stirrers This is how much plastic is in the ocean David Potts, chief executive of Morrisons, said: “Reducing the damage caused by plastic is one of the most challenging issues society can address. Because we make most of the fresh food we sell, we’re in a..