Friday, 27 March 2009

Sky News Business : ‘Well, It’s Not All Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll’

Our latest Sky News piece featured on the Business Homepage;

"A little announcement was made yesterday from the major banks, which really should have been given a lot more coverage. Mortgage approvals have risen for the third month in a row, the British Banker's Association reporting an increase from 24,278 in January to 28,179 in February.

The figures are much lower than they were a year ago, 31% lower in fact, but it is a little bit of positive news amongst all the doom and gloom isn't it?! Are things starting to improve at last?

No. More bad news stamped on those green shoots - the UK economy shrank by 1.6% in the final quarter last year, more than the experts had expected, and house prices have dropped by another 2% last month - the 18th in a row - taking the annual rate from 15.1% to 16.5%. This recession seems to be getting worse and with no end in sight, we find ourselves frequently switching the news off.

As a result of the recession, people are becoming more inventive about generating extra income and generally being thrifty. One of our neighbours was made redundant recently, and to help make up the shortfall in the household piggy bank, they've starting taking in foreign exchange students in their spare room, great for their young son who can practice his French. Others are turning to sites like eBay, selling a wide variety of stuff, taking Martin Lewis's advice of "if you've not used it for a year, flog it!".

Some of the more green fingered are turning bigger chunks of their back gardens into vegetable patches - in fact sales of food seeds are outselling flower seeds - the first time this has happened in the UK since the Second World War, and once empty allotment sites are full with long waiting lists. We do grow our own strawberries, which really do taste better than you get in the shops, but we won't be digging up the lawn like Tom and Barbara Good from Surbiton just yet, and our rare record and memorabilia collection is safe, sound and steadily increasing in value.

Read the full feature here