Cover of MoneyWeek magazine issue no 491

Double Dipper

18 June 2010 / Issue 491

Britain faces a fresh slump


  • A cheap newspaper stock to buy now
  • We must stick up for British firms
  • How I made a million from school dinners


Osborne must be bold

An email comes from a Portuguese friend who has moved to Brazil. She and her husband are in heaven. “The money’s great,” she says. “Everyone is expanding so fast; there are so many opportunities; the lifestyle is wonderful… head hunters call us all the time.”

She’s hanging around on the beach at the weekend, eating fusion sushi alongside Sao Paulo’s astonishing architecture in the evenings and spending her days adding up her accumulated bonuses and fighting off the recruitment agents determined to help her make them even bigger next year. Nice. She hopes, she added, “that things get better” for the rest of us soon.

Right now that seems a pretty forlorn hope. The number of economically inactive people in the UK – those out of work and not seeking employment, has now hit 21.5% of the working age population. That’s on top of the 7.9% officially unemployed. The number of people who have been out of work for over a year is up by 85,000 and unemployment among the young by 11,000 to 926,000. That’s before this year’s graduates hit the market. It is this last number that I hope George Osborne is looking at.

• Read the full editor’s letter here:
Osborne must be bold