News Round-up Jan 2016
UK unemployment hits lowest rate in over a decade but wage growth slows
The rate hit 5.1% in the three months to November – its lowest rate since the three months to October 2005, according to the Office for National Statistics. The number of people out of work fell by 99,000 to 1.68 million in the three-month period. Average weekly earnings, including bonuses, were up 2%, the slowest increase since February. The 2% growth in wages was below the 2.1% growth forecast in a Reuters survey.
HMRC Chief Executive Lin Homer is to stand down in April
Ms. Homer, who has been a civil servant for over 36 years, received her damehood in the recent New Year’s honours list despite heavy criticism from MPs for HMRC’s recent performances with customer service and disappointing progress on tax evasion.
HMRC withdraws 2,000 Accelerated Payment Notices
HMRC is set to repay tax to around 2,000 banking and IT contractors who used an offshore scheme because of a flawed process around issuing payment notices. The tax office issued so-called accelerated payment notices to individuals who used Isle of Man-based schemes to limit their income tax during the 2000s.
EU taxation reforms are key to a successful Europe, business leaders argue
Closer co-ordination of taxation reporting regimes and greater transparency at EU level are just two areas which UK business leaders want to see reformed during the EU membership debate, according to an accountancy forum report.
Pension tax changes prove unpopular with employers
The chancellor’s decision to put a cap on charges against early pension pot access has been met with scepticism from pension companies, with one firm suggesting that it could prove very unpopular with employers.