Friday, July 06, 2007

A Matter of Some Interest

As many as a quarter of the flooded homes in the north of the country have no insurance, the BBC reports today; a catastrophe for thousands of homeowners in a country already drowning in a sea of consumer debt.

Another report this morning adds fuel to the concerns triggered by yesterday's interest rate rise. The Times is worried and a leader in the The Telegraph writes:

"The outlook is darkening. While some economists believe British rates have peaked, London's financial markets are pricing money two years hence at 6.3 per cent. That is the rate expected by the forces of supply and demand, which, I'm afraid to say, have a habit of being right far more often than City pundits.

Such an outcome would devastate many over-stretched home owners. According to Experian, the research company, were interest rates to hit 6.25 per cent by the end of the year and stay there, house repossessions would top 55,000 in 2009, "well on the way to the bad years of the early 1990s".

Apparently, more women than men have debt problems: 54 per cent of callers to National Debtline are female. A survey by uSwitch, an online financial adviser, identified 750,000 British women as "shopaholics" who need a weekly fix, irrespective of their finances. The typical female shopaholic has £11,000 of unsecured debt, more than double the average."

It will be interesting to see whether the rise in interest rates has any impact on profits at Westwood Cross. Remember that the average annual wage in Thanet is £1,000 lower than elsewhere in the south-east and 25% of the population float on income support. When the economy starts to bite the real pain is likely to be felt here more than elsewhere.


Jeremy Jacobs said...

I agree Simon. Retailers in Thanet ought to be concerned.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Home Insurance is something you DO afford, it comes above fags, booze, clothes, shoes etc for this very reason. I am on a very low income and have house insurance. It costs me £22 a month, which is what - just over £5 a week. The woman I saw on the television last night had more than £5 a weeks worth of make up on so I have NO sympathy. If people decide NOT to buy house insurance because they would rather spend money in the shops when things go wrong it is their look out. Why should my taxes be spent on sorting out their mess which could have been done through insurance?

I accept, a little grudgingly that my house insurance is likely to increase next year due to the amount of money that the industry will have to spend this year. But I fail to see why I should have to support those who would rather put the blame on other people and demand money.

Anonymous said...

I pay house & contents insurance month in month out at the expense of luxuries for myself. If I can so can others otherwise what would be the point if the Government bailed out people without insurance and why would the insurance industry offer the cover if they knew some sort of social fund were available instead? Too many people in this country fail to stand on their own feet expecting the state to look after them. Losers.

Mr Friday said...

What always amazes me about Westwood X is that, despite being situated in a supposedly deprived area, the sheer numbers of people who frequent it every day of the week. Whenever I seem to go up there regardless of the time of day it is really busy.

Mind you, people could be up there spending money on shopping instead of buying useful things like house insurance.

Who knows ?

Anonymous said...

other countries suffer floods and other disasters and we rally round with collections concerts etc etc

I dont see any other countries rallying behind these poor folks
and helping out us for a change

Anonymous said...

We are a prosperous society 2:32 and I would be disgusted if we compared the impact of our small flooding with that in other parts of the world and started fund-raising for the un-insured! If the Government are talking about aid it is simply a device to further attract support for NEW NEW Labour. They ignored those 'oop North'for almost 2 weeks and yet Buggins Brown was grinning and reciting platitudes on GMTV and then BBC morning news this morning. Have no doubt that Brown has the same clever spin merchants advising him as did Blair. We should expect Buggins Brown to give hand outs to those who made no provision through insurance, his Minimum Income Guarrantee for pensioners is of the same ilk; spend and don't save and the state will bail you out.

Tony Beachcomber said...

As expected a load of anons kicking people while they are down.
Myself personaly will be donating a days wages to the disaster fund when I know where to send it.
Tony Ovenden

Anonymous said...

Good for you Tony Ovenden, I hope your misplaced generosity will be welcomed. However, as an anon, what makes the point I make any less valid? In 3rd world terms,the flooded properties are habitable upstairs and dry. It is summer in the UK? I trust you were equally generous to the victims of the Pakistan earthquake who had serious problems of survival with the onset of winter in the mountains. Whilst having sympathy for my fellow countryman's predicament, I cannot accept that it is in any way comparable to the horrors experienced by countless fellow human-beings in poorer parts of the world. And if 'anon' upsets you I will sign off.

Lord Lucan

Tony Beachcomber said...

Lord Lucan isn't about time you turned yourself in for killing your childrens nanny. You must be getting old now. you could do a ronnie biggs and come back for free health care.

Anonymous said...

Yes, sadly the zimmer frame beckons but the thought of dying in the 'shrubs'is too horrible to contemplate.

Lord Lucan

Anonymous said...


You are a man of your principles.

In 1987, you may recall, just one firm of solicitors in Margate area was taking FIVE possession orders per day.

The male unemployment figure was 27.1% ... yet our straw poll indicated that the five families per day, facing repossession, were all in work in (typically Thanet) low pay.

Further research revealed that Building Societies were co-operating with Maggie Thatcher and being lenient on arrears cases of unemployed for TWO reasons:

(1) Unemployment would not be seen as the cause of family homelessness

(2) By targetting skilled workers in South East the areas (such as Humberside, Scotland and Wales) with grant aided industry and low skill levels, would gain from mobility of labout (the foreclosed families of the South East)

TDC of course classed such families as voluntary homeless and so a few (including mine) ended up living on campsites.

When we moved to South Wales we discovered the extent of this social engineering a la Maggie.

In Plessey Torpedoes of Newport the test areas (graduate and HNC engineers) featured temps with London and South East accents.

The management and assembly lines featured local Welsh unqualified workers.

You know where I am coming from on this Tony. I condemned the factory wiring and reported that there had been technical corruption of production for the 14 years the factory was in wales. This report was agreed by two MOD experts and, very pleasingly, the factory closed with 1200 redundancies.

I did not spend ten years studying in order to keep low risk parochials in work.

There is no such thing as society.

And as you know there were employers in East Kent phoning up and wanting to recruit design engineers etc (at the low salaries of the area) and being told to get f-cked "WE are all Thatcherites now"

I even had one engineering company from the Thanet area asking me to think of the thirty strong workforce they would have to lay off if they could not recruit engineers. Then he said that an ex Army man like me would not prefer to be on benefits.

YES I would ... that way you don't get foreclosed on a second time.

Now I have worked Thatcherite style and got a few bob ... let the people affected by floods do like we did ... pitch a tent and start again from scratch.

And laugh like hell at footage of Maggie having the temrity to cry as she left Downing Street.

Apart from the joy of dropping a few bailliffs and Kent coppers ... we walked away heads high ... so much more pride than that bitch who made quarter of a million families homeless (IN Thanet for typically three months arrears of mortgage)

For those in low pay ... THINK NOW about doing a collusive separation. Stick yer wife on the DSS books and by the time the interest rates rise she will be scoring the mortgage interest payments (inflation proof) from public funds.


But don't beg cos I would give you beggar all you do not take for yourself.

We are all Thatcherites now.

Now let em see what it means.