Letters to the editor - 29/11 - A new Germany, UK savings crisis, Best of Twitter

A new Germany

[Re: Germany’s new coalition will make little change to Merkel’s euro policies, yesterday]

The coalition may not cause an explicit change in Germany policy towards Europe, but the consequences of the SPD’s influence on internal economic policy may nevertheless have far-reaching consequences. A national minimum wage and higher pension contribution burdens for businesses are likely to harm Germany’s hard-won competitiveness. And this comes at a time when labour productivity has already grown at less than half the pace of Spain’s over the past decade. Important changes may be afoot.

Nigel Creasely

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UK savings crisis

[Re: London faces a savings crisis, yesterday]

Why would anyone with their head screwed on put money in a savings account in the current climate, with interest rates at derisory levels? And if you buy into the stock market, your investments are highly vulnerable to widespread market nervousness at any hint of tapering from the Federal Reserve. It is a small wonder that people aren’t saving. And of course, living expenses in London – travel tickets and rent, in particular – are sky high. For most, there is probably not much left over for saving, even if you were inclined to do so in the first place.

Elizabeth Balsom

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BEST OF TWITTER

The German jobless total rises to 2.9m, the highest level seen since June 2011.
@minefornothing

When Britain leaves the EU, who will take over as the country Eurocrats automatically criticise?
@DanHannanMEP

Annuities now offer certainty of a low income along with no inflation protection.
@rosaltmann

The Funding for Lending Scheme change from the Bank of England is its best policy change for ages.
@notayesmansecon