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New tax rules will hit squeezed middle till pips squeak

Monday, 31st January 2011

About 175,000 people earning £40,000 a year will see their marginal rate of tax more than double from 30 per cent to 70 per cent from April 6 because of complex changes to the tax system, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). At the same time, a reduction in the point at which higher rate tax is imposed will require an extra 750,000 people to pay 40 per cent income tax – and the IFS predicts that one in five could suffer higher rate tax by the time of the next General Election.

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UK economy bounces back after pre-Christmas slump

Thursday, 3rd February 2011

The UK economy bounced back from its pre-Christmas slump last month, easing fears of a double-dip recession. Britain's huge services sector expanded at its fastest rate in eight months as it recovered from a dismal December, according to an influential report published yesterday. It followed news of a record-breaking start to 2011 for manufacturers and steady growth in construction after New Year.

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Britons 'unaware cheque guarantee system is ending'

Monday, 31st January 2011

Four out of 10 Britons are unaware that the cheque guarantee system will be closing this year, a survey indicated today. Around 39% of people did not know that after June 30, they would no longer be able to guarantee a cheque payment by showing a cheque guarantee card with the Shakespeare hologram on it. But the majority of people are unconcerned about the closure of the scheme, with 22% saying they have never used it and 49% saying they have not used it during the past year.

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Audit Commission scrapped as austerity drive intensifies

The Audit Commission, the body responsible for tackling public waste, has become the most high profile victim of the Government’s war on the bloated public sector after being accused of squandering taxpayers’ cash. Ministers stepped in to abolish the £200 million-a-year body following a decade of “shocking” excess which culminated in staff enjoying days out at the races and life coaching at public expense.

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What next for the pound?

Thursday, 6 January 2011

The strength of sterling is a major issue for most businesses and households. As the pound has dropped in value against other major currencies like the dollar and euro, travelling abroad has become much more expensive. Imported goods have also pushed up basic prices for British firms and consumers. UK exporters, however, have welcomed the weaker pound as it makes their goods cheaper to foreign markets.


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