The Money Shot doesn’t need much of an excuse for a celebration. So it didn’t hesitate in busting out a magnum of well-chilled Tizer when it learned that the UK economy grew by a ripping 0.7% last year.
This level of growth hasn’t been seen since the halcyon days of 2007, meaning that the UK is now Europe’s "strongest major economy", according to the IMF.
All of which sounds well and good – but it looks like all this knee-trembling growth isn’t making its way to the pockets of everyday people.
The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), a London-based ‘think tank’, reckons that living standards have fallen “dramatically” since the recession, and won’t get back to where they were until at least the next election. It says that a typical mid-range household is about 6% worse off than it was in 2007.
The IFS reckons that this is largely down to the cost of living being on an exponential march upwards, coupled with cuts to tax credits and benefits.
Maybe that Tizer should go back on ice for now. Or perhaps not...
In news which will give much cause for jubilation, car insurance prices are down by a whopping 8.9% in 2013, according to the Association of British Insurers.
The ABI says that the average price of an annual car insurance policy in 2013 was £370, compared with £406 in 2012.
Interestingly, the ABI also discovered that (SHAMELESS PLUG FOGHORN) eight in 10 drivers also spend time comparing policies online before buying.
Anyone for a party ring?
Short change – money news in brief
The Office of Fair Trading has swaggered into the Wild West of paid mobile apps, fired a jet of tobacco into a nearby spittoon, and ordered the industry to get its act together in two month's time... Or else.
Mortgage approvals were up 20% in 2013, according to the Bank of England.
Speaking of the Bank of England, Mark Carney has put on his oven-proof gloves and grasped the political hot potato of currency sharing in an independent Scotland. His stance? Sort of neutral, which didn’t stop both sides of the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns appropriating the speech for their respective causes.
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has stated Labour’s desire to reintroduce the 50% tax rate for top earners.
A mischievous computer gremlin wormed its way into the systems of Lloyds, causing woe for thousands of customers who couldn’t get their hands on their money.
The ABI says that damage caused by storms and flooding led to nearly half a billion quid’s worth of claims over Christmas and New Year.
On Covered mag this week
That smell of Deep Heat, mud and beer can mean only one thing: the Six Nations is about to start. Roving sports journo and Covered mag contributor Graham Thomas shows you where to sleep, drink and be merry if you’re going to watch a game.
Dan Bevis does the time warp again, serving up a potted history of the Mini.
Those old records in the attic could be worth a bit of money, reckons Emily Bater.
Phil Huff took a trip to Nice to road test Peugeot’s butched-up RCZ R.
Bronies! Klingons! Father Ted! Abbie Laughton-Coles slipped into a fur suit and looked at nine niche conventions from around the world.
An adult entertainment star recently offered to bestow a favour on someone who could build the best Lego creation for her house.
Christy Mack, who has appeared in arthouse flicks such as ‘Rambone’ and ‘Getting Schooled,’ had fans rushing for the Danish toys when she issued the challenge. However, the competition was quickly retracted when Lego’s lawyers got in touch.
Mack said that she received “over 100 legitimate submissions, and well over 500 **** ones".
Join us for another THRILLING instalment of THE MONEY SHOT.