Institute of Fiscal Studies question latest Budget

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The UK’s leading think tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) have warned the government that the impact of cutting the top rate of tax is an uncertain gamble. The IFS have stated that over the coming years an additional 1.3 million people would have to pay 40% on their earnings and described the decision as having, “some risks.”

IFS Director Paul Johnson said, “We know pretty much that the increase in the personal allowance will cost about £3.5 billion in ...

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Government accused of "Granny Tax"

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The government have strongly refused allegations that the plans to end age-related tax allowances for pensioners will cause hardship.

HM Revenue and Customs claim that the changes will lead to 4.4 million pensioners being an average £83 a year worse off than they would have been. Those turning 65 after April 5 could lose up to £322 annually.

However George Osborne told the BBC that no pensioner would be worse off in cash terms, and said state pension increases would leave them ...

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UK borrowing improves in February

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Official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have stated that the UK government have borrowed more than twice as much as expected during February. The final figure of borrowing in February totalled £8.9 billion compared with a predicted £8 billion.

In addition to this rise it was also revealed that public sector net borrowing, excluding interventions such as bank bail-outs, increased to £15.2 billion.

The Chancellor, George Osborne who is due to deliver the budget today will have to think ...

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Further national strike over pensions awaits

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One of the largest civil service trade unions, The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union is seeking a coordinated country-wide strike with other unions in April to protest against changes to pensions and pay cuts.

The PCS union which represents 250,000 civil servants had hoped to join the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and Unite in strikes over public sector pension reforms on 28 March. However the NUT has announced that strike action next week which is supported by members of ...

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Level of inflation continues to fall

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the rate of inflation has eased from 3.6% in January to 3.4% in February. This decrease was also seen in the rate of retail price inflation which dropped from 3.9% to 3.7%.

The ONS has commented that the decrease in inflation has been mainly due to lower energy bills, which includes electricity and gas. In addition, inflation was also forced down by a record drop in photo equipment and a record fall ...

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Stamp duty avoidance crackdown

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Chancellor George Osborne has stated that the government will be “coming after” stamp duty avoidance with “aggressive” new methods.

Speaking in an interview, George Osborne said that the practise of buying homes through a company to avoid the tax was “unacceptable” and promised to “come down on that practice like a ton of bricks”.

Stamp duty on a property starts at 1% of its value and rises to 5% on homes worth more than £1 million. A report by the Sunday Times has ...

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Government consider implementing long-term borrowing plan

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Chancellor George Osborne is due to announce plans to issue a new long-term bond it hopes will cut the country’s interest payments for years to come.

Currently the UK government issues bonds which pay interest before being paid back after a fixed term. A long term bond would typically mean that the government has 30 years to repay but this new proposal would allow final payment after 100 years or more.

Joanne Segars, chief executive of the National Association of Pension Funds ...

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Ed Miliband urges George Osborne to help working families

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Labour leader Ed Miliband has challenged George Osborne to take action in his budget to “ease the squeeze” on families by reversing the cuts to tax credits.

Ed Miliband has stated that the government are out of touch as they have spent the last few weeks arguing about whether they should cut the 50p top rate of tax for those earning above £150,000 while families’ living standards are in decline.

He continued to state that the average family will be £530 worse ...

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Council tenants offered £75,000 discount by David Cameron

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David Cameron has announced that the government will attempt to breathe new life into the right-to-buy scheme by offering council tenants discounts reaching £75,000, arguing that the discount will help encourage “strong families and stable communities”.

Residents of council housing could receive a 35% discount after five years’ residency, with an extra 1% for each additional year, up to a maximum of £75,000. Estimations had been made previously that the maximum discount would be set at £50,000.

Those tenants currently living in ...

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Mortgage indemnity scheme launches

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People in England are being offered help to climb onto or up the housing ladder by the governments new scheme. The scheme has been launched by David Cameron on the same day the government have confirmed the extension of the right-to-buy discount to up to £75,000 for social housing tenants.

The new scheme called the NewBuy scheme will help people to borrow up to 95% of the value of new homes. The scheme is supported by institutions such as Barclays, NatWest, ...

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