Disposable income of British families down: Report

August 27th, 2008 - 7:48 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 27 (Xinhua) Disposable income for general households in Britain has fallen by a sixth in the last year alone, Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable has said. “The credit crunch and soaring consumer prices are clearly having a massive impact on British families,” Cable said following his party’s release of a report on the national economy Tuesday.

“This is extremely worrying news for (Prime Minister) Gordon Brown, whose claims that all is well with UK PLC are now looking well wide of the mark,” he said.

“The government cannot possibly continue to play down the severity of the economic crisis the UK faces, when millions of people can barely make ends meet.”

Cable said one in seven adults is now trapped below the poverty line, leaving the government’s poverty strategy in tatters.

Changes are needed to stop the “downward spiral” of the market, he said.

A Liberal Democrat plan to revive the British housing market features a mortgage rescue scheme and allowing local authorities to buy unused land.

The housing market has seen annual price falls of more than eight percent, a squeeze on the number of mortgages, especially for first-time buyers, and a slowdown in the number of homes being built.

Outlining the Liberal Democrats’ housing plan, Cable said it would assist struggling house-builders looking for cash to stabilize their positions.

He said councils could buy unused land owned by developers at a discount rate for use as social housing.

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