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A six-year-old girl from Manchester, Niamh Riley, sent David Cameron a pound coin left by the tooth fairy to help pay off the deficit.

16 October 2010

12:00 AM

16 October 2010

12:00 AM

The deficit fairy

A six-year-old girl from Manchester, Niamh Riley, sent David Cameron a pound coin left by the tooth fairy to help pay off the deficit. If all children followed her example, how near would we be?

—With 790,000 children born a year, each with 20 milk teeth, this would raise £15.8 million a year.

—According to a survey by the Halifax last year, British children receive an average of £6.24 a week, or £324 a year, in pocket money. If all this money was sent to the government it would raise £4.29 billion a year — one twentieth of the £80 billion structural deficit, and equivalent to ten days of current government overspend.

The pay-gap gap

How much more are men paid than women? The figures vary dramatically, depending on whether you factor in part-time work:

Harriet Harman, 2007 interview 33%

Equality and Human Rights Commission, October 2010, based on the earnings of 40-year-olds regardless of number of hours worked 27%

Office of National Statistics, average hourly rate (full-time) 12%

ONS, average hourly rate (part-time) -2%


ONS, based on hourly earnings of full-time 16–17-year-olds -13%

What’s to cut

Next week, George Osborne will announce which departments will suffer the deepest cuts. But which have benefited most over the last five years?

Education 198%

Energy & Climate Change 138%

International Development 70%

Health 28%

Science budget 25%

Defence 15%

Transport 7%

Foreign Office 7%

Home Office -0.2%

Justice -4.1%

Source: HM Treasury. Change in real-terms departmental expenditure, 2004–05 to 2010–11

House price gains

The Halifax house price index registered a fall of 3.6 per cent in September, while the Nationwide index recorded a rise of 0.1 per cent. Here is how various sources estimate the current value of £100,000 invested in the property market in mid-1995:

Land Registry £267,000

Halifax £272,000

Department for Communities and Local Government £317,000

Nationwide £330,000


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