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Home ownership falls for middle-income young adults

Young adults with middle incomes are considerably less likely to own their own home than those born 20 years earlier, new figures show. Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that from 1995/96, 65% of 25 to 34-year-olds with incomes in the middle 20%...

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Firms face fines for failing to report gender pay gap

Employers could face unlimited fines if they fail to comply with gender pay gap reporting regulations, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has warned. After the deadlines pass – 30 March 2018 for public sector organisations and 4 April 2018 for businesses...

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Freelancers drive self-employment growth

Freelancers in highly-skilled occupations have driven growth in the UK self-employment sector over the past decade, according to a report. Drawing on data from the Office for National Statistics, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed...

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MTD pilot opens to the self-employed

Self-employed businesses can voluntarily use software to manage their business records digitally and send income tax updates to HMRC, following the opening of its Making Tax Digital (MTD) pilot. The pilot became available to sole traders with income from one business...

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Government launches VAT review

The government has launched a “call for evidence” on the design of the VAT registration threshold, amid concerns that the current system dis-incentivises small business growth. In November 2017, the £85,000 threshold at which businesses are required to register for...

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Mothers “lack financial protection”

Many mothers in the UK are failing to protect themselves financially, according to research published ahead of Mother’s Day on 11 March 2018. Scottish Widows surveyed 5,077 adults, and revealed that 3 in 5 women with dependent children have no life cover, and only 13%...

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Savings rates cut on growth and income bonds

National Savings & Investments (NS&I) has reduced the interest rate it pays on Guaranteed Growth and Income Bonds for new customers. Interest on the 3-year Growth Bond has been reduced from 2.2% to 1.95%, while interest was also lowered from 2.15% to 1.9% for...

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Chancellor calls for IHT review

Chancellor Philip Hammond has called for a review of inheritance tax (IHT), to make it “fit for purpose”. In a letter to the Office for Tax Simplification on 19 January 2018, he asked for proposals to be put forward to improve the “particularly complex” system. The...

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Buy-to-let mortgage costs starting to rise

The cost of most mainstream buy-to-let mortgages has increased following November 2017’s interest rate rise, according to figures from Mortgage Brain. A 2-year buy-to-let tracker mortgage with a 60% and 70% loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is now 3% higher in cost than it...

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Productivity growth ‘strongest since 2008’

UK productivity showed the strongest successive quarters of growth in the second half of last year, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In the 6 months to December 2017, productivity growth saw higher levels than any 2 consecutive quarters...

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