UK population rise 'equivalent to city the size of London'

Reports that the UK's population will rise by 9.6 million in the next 25 years, an increase 'equivalent to a city the size of London', feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Times (subscription) reports that "new official projections estimate that the population will hit 73.3 million by 2037, compared with 63.7 million today. About 60 per cent of the increase will come from immigration, including the children of immigrants". An editorial in the newspaper says the rise in population will "pose severe policy challenges". "There will need to be a concerted attempt over a generation to boost the economies of provincial cities to make them a magnet for investment, jobs and the population that will follow", it says.

The Guardian reports that chancellor George Osborne's flagship Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme to boost Britain's housing market has been "attacked from within the industry" after the head of the Council of Mortgage Lenders warned of the risk of "addiction" to home loan subsidies. The newspaper says that Nigel Terrington described the scheme as a "short-term fix" and said there needed to be a clear exit strategy.

The Times reports that house prices "are forecast to rise by even more than expected next year but the market will avoid reaching a housing bubble". According to the newspaper, estate agents Jones Lang LaSalle "is predicting a 5 per cent rise in house prices in 2014. This is above the previous forecast of 3.5 per cent, which was made in July". But it quotes Jones Lang LaSalle’s head of residential Adam Challis playing down the threat of a price bubble. "We would regard anything resembling a bubble in the Midlands, North and Scotland as virtually impossible and highly unlikely in the South", he says.

The Guardian reports
that deputy prime minister Nick Clegg "will inflame coalition tensions" today when he calls on Prime Minister David Cameron "to hold his nerve on climate change", describing the Prime Minister's recent scepticism about renewable energy as "economic myopia of the worst kind". He will also accuse some senior Conservatives of acting as "climate change deniers", the newspaper says.

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