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?
Energy & Climate Change 138%
International Development 70%
Science budget 25%
Foreign Office 7%
Home Office -0.2%
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
Department for Communities and Local Government £317,000