Daily Archives: October 22, 2012

Kate Allen

The number of housing benefit claimants is rising, and thus so is the cost to the Treasury, data from the Department for Work and Pensions shows. The number of people claiming housing benefit has increased by a startling 780,000 since the beginning of 2009 to 5 million.

There are a couple of small rays of light for the government.

Firstly, the rate of increase in claimants has slowed since the general election in May 2010.

Number of housing benefit claimants Read more

In Europe and the US, they are often called “squeezed” or “worried”. In developing markets, they are “booming”, “growing” and, of course, “emerging”.

The middle classes are changing consumption habits around the world. Chart of the week takes a look at some key emerging markets and the level of middle class spending.


We have used data from the OECD and the Brookings Institution which define the middle class as those earning 10 to 100 dollars at purchasing power parity per day. On this basis, more than half of the globe’s middle class people are forecast to be in the Asia Pacific region in fewer then 10 years, compared to the current proportion of only one in four.

 Read more

Kate Allen

“Oh we do like to be beside the seaside, oh we do like to be beside the sea”, as the classic English music-hall song goes. But for many people, that’s no longer the case. British seaside towns – once the bastion of the country’s summer economy – now have the nation’s highest levels of insolvency, according to a data analysis by the Office for National Statistics.

Four of the five highest rates of insolvencies in 2011 (per 10,000 adult population) were areas containing seaside towns, and they make up just under half of the top 20.

Highest rates of insolvencies 2011 Read more