cost of raising a child rockets

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Recent research by insurance company LV= has revealed the cost of raising a child from birth to their 21st birthday has reached more than £218,000.

The report entitled Cost of a Child: From cradle to college 2012 surveyed 2,119 UK adults and has shown that the cost has increased by 3.3% since the last survey with education and childcare at the top of the expense list.

The increase in education is not surprising as University fees are set to ...

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Graduate salaries forecast to rise

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A poll of more than 200 blue chip employers has shown that the average starting salary for a graduate is predicted to increase by 4% to £26,000 this year

The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) states that graduate starting salaries have remained static since 2009 at £25000. The poll included firms such as Accenture, retailer Marks & Spencer and bank UBS.

The research has contradicted a recent government survey that has found the average salary for all new graduates working in full-time positions ...

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Strike plans extend HMRC tax deadline

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The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union is planning a walkout at HM Revenue and Customs on 31 January. This will include call centres and inquiry offices to protest against the selection of private companies to run call-handling trials in two contact centres.

The official deadline for submission of self-assessment tax returns is also on the same day which is set to cause disruption. As a result HMRC have extended the deadline and no fines will be handed out during the ...

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Tips to help finance an enjoyable retirement

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With careful planning we can all enjoy our retirement without worrying about a strict budget. Here are a number of hints and tips from industry experts to help you plan your future.

Invest early and make sure its enough

Its a simple fact that the earlier you start investing, the longer the investments have to work.

Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at Hargreaves Lansdown states, “There’s no substitute for saving an adequate amount.”

“If you don’t put enough in, you won’t get enough ...

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Minister states workplace pensions must change

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Pensions minister Steve Webb said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) would conduct a formal consultation in which rules should be scrapped, with every regulation up for review, “from the absolutely trivial to the huge.”

“Every piece of regulation will go unless we can justify its existence.”

The government has planned to change the way that workplace pensions operate but Steve Webb has stated that the plans to simplify occupational pension schemes could see a, “bonfire of the regulations.”

Laith Khalaf, pension ...

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Government debt hits a record £1 trillion

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Official figures show that government debt has risen to a record £1 trillion from £883 billion a year ago. The current net debt total of £1.004 trillion represents 64.2% of UK gross domestic product. The increase was seen after monthly borrowing fell to £13.7 billion in December, a reduction of £2.2 billion.

A Treasury spokesperson said, “our national debt has reached more than one trillion pounds simply shows the unsustainable level of spending this country built up over the past few ...

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Economic forecasters say the UK is back in recession

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An economic forecaster from the Item Club has stated that the UK may have already fallen back into recession. Peter Spencer, Item Club’s chief economic adviser stated, “We are probably in technical recession.”

This statement was backed by the fact that gross domestic product fell in the last quarter of last year and would continue to decrease. It was also predicted that the UK economy would only grow by 0.2% this year and unemployment would increase by a predicted 300,000. However ...

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Child benefit cut for higher rate taxpayers

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Chancellor George Osborne has stated child benefit for higher rate taxpayers will be removed, after ministers’ suggested that the policy could be made “fairer”.

In response to the ministers’ comments, David Cameron acknowledged there was an issue with the £42,475-a-year threshold stating, “Some people say that’s the unfairness of it, that you lose the child benefit if you have a higher-rate taxpayer in the family (but) two people below the level keep the benefit.”

“So, there’s a threshold, a cliff-edge issue. We ...

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European Union targets payday loan companies

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A recent European Union investigation has looked into credit card companies and personal loan firms. It has been found that four out of five UK online credit companies failed to provide basic information required by law, such as the cost of borrowing.

Steve Perry, a victim of the payday loan has written on his website saynotopaydayloans.co.uk that he has discovered a number of short-term lenders have failed to meet their legal obligations.

Steve Perry said, “Last month I reported one payday lender ...

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Housing market will remain static during 2012

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According to a report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the housing market is expected to remain flat during 2012 due to “Unrealistic asking prices.”

The number of houses up for sale during December 2011 showed yet another rise for the thrid month in a row. London saw the biggest increase in supply, reaching the highest level since January 2005.

However regardless of a slight increase in potential buyer interest, sales have dipped from November and are now stable. This ...

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