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Poorest areas 'will suffer most from tax credit cuts'

The poorest parts of the country will suffer most from the Government's tax credit cuts, according to a new study.

Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The TUC says average losses are calculated for a year from next April when the cuts are due to come into force.

It says in Wales the loss will be just under £1,400. The biggest impact will be in Northern Ireland, where the average loss to claimants will be £1,480. Average losses in London will be £1,110.

This research makes clear that as well as making families suffer, the tax credit cuts will make regional inequalities worse. The households who will lose the most are those already in low-income areas. Instead of cuts that target the UK's lowest-paid communities, the Government should channel more support towards them.

– Frances O'Grady, TUC General Secretary

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House prices 'rise in Wales'

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House prices have risen across Wales for the fifth consecutive month, according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey.

In October, over a quarter more chartered surveyors saw house prices rise rather than fall across Wales, up from a balance of 15% in September.

It is hard to get away from the issue of supply when it comes to the current state of the housing market in Wales and across the UK. The legacy of the drop in new build following the onset of the global financial crisis is now really hitting home with both the sales and letting markets continuing to show demand outstripping supply on a month by month basis.

– Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist

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Rail electrification could cost 'up to £2.8bn'

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The boss of Network Rail (NR) has admitted the cost of electrifying the Great Western railway line between South Wales and London could reach £2.8 billion.

Previous estimates for the project were £874 million in January 2013 and £1.6 billion in September last year.

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne told MPs the latest figure is £2.5-2.8 billion, based on 2012 prices.

The company issued a statement which described the project as "an extremely complex task that is being delivered whilst continuing to run an operational railway".

Parliament's Public Accounts Committee is due to issue its report into the electrification project by the end of the year.

Switching energy suppliers could save '£200 or more'

More than half a million Welsh households could save £200 or more by switching gas and electricity suppliers, new government figures suggest.

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But a recent poll found that only 6% of people in Wales realised they could save that amount by switching, with around one quarter estimating they would save £50 or less.

"With winter almost upon us, many consumers will be dreading higher energy bills... I'd urge consumers to take control of their energy bills before the cold weather starts to bite."

– Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch
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