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Not much wiser

Last month’s Labour Party conference produced little in the way of fresh tax policy details. Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor, said little new and neither did his Shadow Treasury chief secretary, Rachel Reeves. So what do we know so far? Read the rest of this entry »


The UK property market is not the only one that is recovering…

The UK residential property market is showing signs of recovery (if you are a house builder) or signs of a bubble forming (if you are a nervous economist looking at London prices). Either way, according to Nationwide UK house prices were up 5.0% year on year in September against 2.7% for the Consumer Prices Index. Read the rest of this entry »


September did not turn out as expected at the US Federal Reserve

Back in May, the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, sent shivers through global markets when he suggested that a change to the central bank’s easy money policy was within sight. Mr Bernanke said that the Fed was likely to soon cut back on its regular monthly purchase of bonds – then running at $85bn a month – and end all buying by around the middle of 2014. Read the rest of this entry »


The Association of British Insurers has started to publish annuity tables, with some interesting results

Annuity rate league tables now regularly appear in newspapers and on websites. They can be a starting point if you are thinking of converting your pension pot into a retirement income. However, the tables are generally of limited use. For example, many life companies that are not actively seeking annuity business do not supply rates and the tables themselves cannot cover all the options available. Read the rest of this entry »


The Liberal Democrats have put forward their latest ideas on tax

The next General Election is due on 7 May 2015 and politicians are already jostling for position, with talk of another coalition in the air. As a result, the Liberal Democrats’ latest paper on tax policy has considerably more relevance than some of its predecessors. The paper, issued for discussion at this month’s party conference in Glasgow, makes a wide range of proposals. Among the more notable are: Read the rest of this entry »

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