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Tories say families are becoming worse off

Figures showing prices are outstripping earnings at the same time as the jobs market is stagnating have sparked concerns in the Tory party.

Statistics from the Office for National Statistics last week showed that in the three months to November 2006 average earnings increased by 3.7% compared with 3.6% in 2005.

With the cost of living growing by 4.4% in the year to December 2006, the Conservatives say families with a single earner on an income of £20,000 will be worse off by £153 in real terms.

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Marketwatch

Last week, swaps posted the biggest weekly increases that I have seen since I’ve been writing this column, with one-year swaps almost going up by 0.25%. The increases were so large that I had to increase the y axis of my graph above 5.8%. One and two-year swaps are up about 0.5% in the past three months, which fits with two base rate increases.

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