Posts From October, 2012

UK economy showing optimistic signs 

Monday, October 29, 2012 5:00:00 PM Categories: Economy

There is "reason for some optimism" for the UK economy, the Bank of England's deputy governor Charlie Bean has said. He cautioned against "getting over-excited" after new GDP data showed the recession was over - pointing out the Olympics had given a one-off boost. But Mr Bean said there were "signs of progress" from the eurozone and banking crises and inflation should be lower.

Last week's official gross domestic product figures, which measure the value of everything produced in the country, showed the economy grew by 1.0% in the three months from July to September.

It had been in recession for the previous nine months and has still not recovered the levels of output seen before the financial crisis in 2008.

The end of gender based pricing 

Friday, October 26, 2012 10:13:00 AM Categories: Regulations

The European Court of Justice ruled in March 2011 that insurers cannot price products based on gender following a test case brought by Belgian consumer group Test-Achats which said differential pricing could be interepreted as a form of gender discrimination.

The new rules come into effect on 21 December, when an opt-out clause under the EU gender directive which previously allowed insurers to offer different pricing to men and women will cease.

This change will affect everything from life cover to annuities to car insurance and, if you are considering taking out any of these products now is the time to act.

If you would like further information please get in touch.

UK economy to return to growth? 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 9:27:00 AM Categories: Economy

The UK's economy will rebound in the second half of the year, the Ernst and Young Item Club's latest report says. However, its quarterly forecast, which is produced using the same model as the UK Treasury, still predicts that the economy will contract by 0.2% over the year as a whole.

The forecast is more optimistic than the International Monetary Fund's assessment released last week, which predicted that the UK economy would shrink by 0.4% this year.

The Item Club says economic growth will be 1.2% next year and 2.4% in 2014 and 2015, fuelled by higher consumer spending as a result of falling inflation and a better jobs market.

It says these improvements will be boosted by a recovery in the mortgage and housing markets next spring.

Capital Allowances - Have you heard the news? 

Monday, October 08, 2012 11:22:00 AM Categories: Tax

According to our research, more and more commercial property owners have become aware of the tax advantages of making a capital allowances claim. However there are still tens of thousands who have not made a claim because they have never been made aware that they can.

We have looked at Capital Allowaces before but to refresh your memories, they are a form of tax relief available to anyone incurring capital expenditure buying, building or making adjustments to commercial property. While accountants will claim on more obvious items such as shutters and curtains, fire extinguishers and carpets, generally they will not drill down to the items where the far more significant costs to a business lie. These might include air conditioning or heating systems, lighting and security systems, plant and machinery items.

Our partner in this area can provide a free consultation to check if you could benefit. We have already used this for our own property and have received back a rebate so we know it works!

For more information you ca look at the following article http://www.ifalife.com/articles.asp?AID=1318 or give us a call!

Auto-enrolment arrives! 

Monday, October 01, 2012 4:40:00 PM Categories: Auto-enrolment

Automatic enrolment into a workplace pension, which starts for some today, will affect millions of people. The aim is to ensure that low and middle earners are provided with an addition to the state pension. However, the Institute for Fiscal Studies says some who might have saved more may stick to the minimum level.

For many workers, this will be the first time their employer has contributed to their pension savings. The pension employees derive from automatic enrolment is designed to complement both the state pension and any private pension saving.

Pensions Minister Steve Webb said: "The huge gap that we are trying to fill is [in] long-term pension saving. We have got half the workforce building up no pension beyond the state pension, and that is why this system is such a positive thing. You don't have all the hassle and complexity of choosing a pension. The firm chooses it for you, they put money in, you put money in, and then the only hassle is if you want to opt out," he told the BBC.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss how this affects you please get in touch.