Posts From September, 2012

Eurozone problems continue to provide market volatility 

Thursday, September 27, 2012 2:44:00 PM Categories: Europe

Spain is due to set out its austerity budget for 2013 later, against a backdrop of a deteriorating economy and 25% unemployment rate. Madrid is expected to outline 39bn euros ($50bn; £31bn) worth of savings, tax rises, and structural reforms. It comes amid further protests this week, and growing expectations that Spain will seek a bailout from its eurozone partners.

Stocks fell sharply on Wednesday, as markets were rattled by violent protests in Madrid and Athens, as well as a statement from the Spanish central bank that the country's economy had continued to shrink in the third quarter of the year.

However, the more optimistic sentiment was boosted on Thursday when the Greek finance minister, Yannis Stournaras, said that a "basic agreement" had been reached with lenders on the austerity measures required for the release of Greece's next tranche of bailout money.

Income levels on the rise? 

Monday, September 17, 2012 2:49:00 PM Categories: Economy

UK households will see a rise in real income levels next year for the first time since the onset of the financial crisis, a study suggests. Taking inflation into account, incomes are set to rise by 0.5% in 2013, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). But they will drop by 0.2% this year, the group said.

The CEBR said real levels of income would start to pick up as inflation fell further, with middle and low-income families benefiting the most.

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Taxing the wealthy 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 4:39:00 PM Categories: Tax

An extra £500m has been squeezed out of the UK's 5,000 wealthiest taxpayers, according to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Its special unit, set up to deal with the tax affairs of the very rich three and a half years ago, has exceeded its targets, HMRC said. It had hoped to raise an extra £300m in that time, but has raised £200m more.

The head of the High Net Worth Unit said some of those taxed had clearly been trying to dodge tax. "The tax affairs of the richest people in the country are, by their nature, complex, and that's why we have focused resources on getting their tax right," said the unit's head, Martin Randall. "The majority of the wealthiest taxpayers play by the rules, paying the right tax at the right time, but we take action against the minority who don't."

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Moody's lowers EU rating outlook to 'negative' 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012 11:40:00 AM Categories: Economy Europe

Moody's has lowered its outlook for the European Union's AAA credit rating to "negative" and warned that the bloc's rating could be downgraded. It said the move reflected the negative outlook for the ratings of the EU's key budget contributors.

Earlier this year, Moody's put ratings of Germany, France, Netherlands and the UK on a negative outlook. It said that these nations were all exposed to the region's debt crisis, hurting their creditworthiness.

The ratings agency said that in case of "extreme stress", the AAA-rated member states were more likely to service their own debt obligations rather than "prioritise their commitment to backstop the EU debt obligations".