Violet Hudson

Money digest: today’s need-to-know financial news | 28 April 2016

Money digest: today’s need-to-know financial news | 28 April 2016
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The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development warns this morning that Brexit would cost the average Briton one month’s salary by 2020, according to the Telegraph. The think tank predicts that families will be £2,200 worse off by the end of the decade should Britain chose to leave the EU on 23 June. ‘Normally when you pay a tax, you get something in return,’ said Angel Gurria, the OECD’s Secretary General. ‘You're asked to pay a tax in order to have greater security, or because they're going to pave the streets, or you're going to get cleaner water.’

Meanwhile eight leading economists have formed ‘Economists for Brexit’, backing the Leave campaign. The report was produced by, among others, Gerard Lyons, adviser to Boris Johnson, and Professor Patrick Minford, formerly Baroness Thatcher’s consigliere. They claim that UK prices would fall by 8 per cent if we left Europe, thanks to avoiding Brussels-controlled customs tariffs. The BBC reports that they are hankering after a World Trade Organisation agreement.

The future moved one step closer this morning as Ford and Google teamed up to advocate federal approval of driverless cars. The New York Times reports that Ford has been eyeing up various tech companies in recent months, looking for a merger: the coalition with Google will give much-needed political clout. The newly formed group is calling itself the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets. Mark Rosalind, a top auto safety regulator, told a hearing at Stanford University that driverless cars could ‘save lives.’ 90 per cent of accidents are caused by a decision made by the driver.

The Independent tells us this morning that a third of the UK’s population fell below the poverty line at some point between 2010 and 2013. The Office for National Statistics data asserts that 20 million people were affected by financial hardship during this period; five million were in a state of persistent poverty. Similarly, a study by Age UK found that 1.6 million pensioners live below the poverty line; 12 per cent of over 65s live in one room to keep heating costs down. And more than one in five has foregone food because of the expense.

Alert from The Daily Mail: travel firms may be spying on you to hike the price of your holiday. In a piece of news that may be crashingly obvious to anyone who has ever booked anything at all online, algorithms can save and process information about customers. Shock horror! ‘Money Mail can reveal that travel firms are about to revolutionise the way we pay for trips,’ says the paper. Tricks include finding out your favourite seat on a plane and hiking prices for those spots and scouring old bookings to see which destinations you tend to return to. The so-called personalised prices are already widespread in America: a new deal with British Airways means they could soon be introduced here.