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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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Scottish income tax changes approved

The Scottish government has approved an overhaul of the Scottish income tax system, which will introduce new rates and bands from 6 April 2018. Under the new system, most taxpayers in Scotland will fall into one of 5 income tax bands, following the introduction of 2...

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More workers aim to become self-employed

The number of workers in the UK who plan to become their own boss has almost doubled in the past year, according to research. Aldermore polled 2,003 adults and found that 29% aim to start their own business in the future, up from 15% in 2017. Some 18% of those intend...

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Firms urged into agency worker rethink

The majority of firms that use agency workers have maintained or increased their use in the last 5 years, according to research. A survey by the Resolution Foundation of 500 firms found that 43% had increased their share of agency workers since 2012, and 46% had kept...

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Tax-free childcare fully rolled out

The government has announced its tax-free childcare scheme is open to all eligible families, almost a year after it was initially launched. Working parents who earn more than £120 a week and less than £100,000 a year are eligible for the scheme if they have children...

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First-time buyers soar to 11-year high

More first-time buyers took out mortgages in 2017 than any time over the last decade, according to research. A report by UK Finance showed that a total of 365,000 first-time buyer mortgages were completed last year – up 7.4% on 2016 and the highest number since 2006....

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State pension “worst in the developed world”

The state pension in the UK falls behind all other developed countries, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The UK government pays 29% of average earnings, the lowest of all 24 countries in the OECD. This falls...

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SMEs spend 15 days a year on tax compliance

The average small business in the UK spends £5,000 and 15 working days a year on tax compliance, a report claims. A study of 1,017 SMEs by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that businesses spent a total of 126 hours on tax administration. The most...

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Cash ISA rates begin to rise

Interest rates on cash ISAs are finally starting to increase after years of low rates, according to a report by data provider Moneyfacts. The report showed that average rates for instant access ISAs went up from 0.68% in December 2017 to 0.78% in February 2018....

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