• Guardian article on UK government plan to fund innovation, a quote:

“The government today pledged to spend £1bn over the next three years promoting scientific and technological innovation by British business and industry.

Accepting a review of UK science by the former science minister Lord Sainsbury, the Chancellor Alistair Darling said the transfer of scientific knowledge into the private sector had improved but needed to be stepped up if the country was to remain competitive.

Today’s announcement follows the creation of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (Dius) as one of the first acts of Gordon Brown’s premiership, bringing together university research and industrial spin-offs. John Denham, secretary of state for Dius, said: “We’re going to take that vision a step further. We are making good progress, but so are our competitors and we need to keep the UK ahead of the game.

“As Lord Sainsbury’s review points out, global competition shouldn’t be a ‘race to the bottom’, to see who can produce things the cheapest.

“It should be a ‘race to the top’, where we draw in the best and brightest researchers to help tap into new, high-value markets, based on our talent, infrastructure and innovation.”

The technology strategy board (TSB) will lead the £1bn programme in partnership with research councils and regional development agencies.”

  • Guardian article on disparity between income and house prices in UK reaching record levels, quote

“A record disparity between people’s earnings and property prices was revealed today in new research showing the average house now costs more than five times the average first-time buyer’s income.

The study from the University of York for the housing data company Hometrack showed that the ratio between earnings and average property prices had doubled in the past decade.

The average cost of a home in England and Wales now stands at £176,300, according to the study”