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First-time buyers soar to 11-year high

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”

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

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

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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Property proves most popular saving option

Property proves most popular saving option

Nearly half (49%) of Britons believe investing in property is the best way of saving for their retirement, according to figures released by the ONS. Research conducted from July 2016 to June 2017 revealed that 40% of respondents considered workplace pensions to be the...

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Employers face stricter rules over workers’ rights

Employers face stricter rules over workers’ rights

A series of major reforms are set to change employment laws and practices for businesses that employ flexible workers on zero-hour contracts, creating possible extra costs for employers. The government announced its Good Work Plan on 7 February 2018, in response to...

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More landlords in buy to let arrears

More landlords in buy to let arrears

The number of landlords who have fallen significantly behind on their mortgage repayments rose 20% in the last year, according to data published by UK Finance. In Q4 2017, there were 5,100 buy-to-let mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more of the outstanding balance,...

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3 in 4 SME owners plan to work past retirement age

3 in 4 SME owners plan to work past retirement age

Most leaders of small and medium-sized businesses plan to work past the age of 65, according to research. A survey by Aldermore of 1,008 senior SME decision-makers revealed that 73% of business owners are planning to work past their state pension age. Almost...

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Startup numbers fall after IR35 clampdown

Startup numbers fall after IR35 clampdown

The formation of new companies incorporated in the UK dropped in 2017, according to data published by Companies House. Some 622,713 new companies were launched last year, down from 646,703 in 2016, representing a drop of around 4%. Commenting on the figures, the...

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Economic growth exceeds forecasts

Economic growth exceeds forecasts

The UK economy grew by 0.5% from October to December 2017, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). This surpassed the Office for Budget Responsibility’s prediction of 0.4% growth for the quarter. Growth was particularly strong in the...

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