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The latest from Balance for Business

HMRC warns of scam text messages ahead of self-assessment deadline

Fraudsters alleging to be from HMRC are increasingly using scam text messages to dupe taxpayers, the tax office has warned. Ahead of the self-assessment deadline on 31 January, HMRC has stepped up its attempts to block scam text messages and raise awareness of the signs of fraud amongst taxpayers. The tax office has said that […]

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Hitachi suspends nuclear plant

Hitachi has suspended work on a £13bn UK nuclear project at Wylfa Newydd in north Wales because of rising costs. Hitachi said it was suspending the project “from the viewpoint of its economic rationality as a private enterprise”. The company had been in talks with the UK Government since June about funding for the project. […]

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Specialist finance industry reacts to Brexit deal collapse

The specialist finance industry has reacted to the news that Theresa May’s Brexit deal has been defeated in the Commons, on a 432 to 202 vote. Stephen Jones, chief executive at UK Finance, felt that it was now essential that politicians on all sides worked together to agree a way forward and provide much-needed certainty […]

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Inflation falls to lowest level in nearly two years

The ONS has said that the UK inflation rate fell to 2.1% in December, down from 2.3% the previous month. The CPI figure was the lowest in nearly two years, pushed down by petrol price falls. Mike Hardie, head of inflation at the ONS, said: “Inflation eased mainly due to a big fall in petrol, […]

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Businesses urged to prepare for no-deal Brexit

Businesses must start seriously preparing for a no-deal scenario after Tuesday night’s historic House of Commons vote rejecting the agreement negotiated between the Government and the EU, specialist lawyers have warned. Charles Brasted, head of the Brexit task force at Hogan Lovells, said: “Like businesses and citizens in the UK and across Europe, preparations for […]

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Intermediaries predict specialist lending growth in 2019

Some 75% of intermediaries expect specialist lending sales to increase in 2019, according to research from Masthaven. A survey found that intermediaries top three growth challenges for the year ahead will be lending criteria (35%), regulation (27%) and lack of innovation (18%), although only 2.5% say they expect sales to decline. Some of brokers’ optimism […]

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Landbay: Brexit costs London landlords £1.8k in rental growth

Landlords in London are potentially £1,806 worse off since the vote to leave the EU in June 2016, according to the latest Landbay Rental Index. Using a conservative projection, rental growth in the capital is now 2.84% lower than expected back in June 2016, but this could be as high as 4.15%. This higher estimate […]

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Brexit remains the biggest challenge in 2019

Research from ICAEW shows businesses have the same concerns for the next twelve months as they did in 2018 with uncertainty around Brexit the biggest challenge. Other issues such as slowing UK economic growth, rising UK inflation, plus the lack of clarity on longer-term business priorities also weigh on confidence. Michael Izza, CEO of the […]

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VAT now 21% of HMRC’s total tax take

VAT receipts made up 21% of HMRC’s total tax income in 2017/18, according to UHY Hacker Young – up from 18% in 2008/09. This proves that the Treasury has “become increasingly reliant on VAT as a source of revenue”, the firm stated. “VAT has become a crucial component of total tax take and the Government […]

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UK asset finance market remains on track for record year

Figures from the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that growth in asset finance new business was at a similar level to the same month in 2017. The plant and machinery finance and business equipment finance sectors reported new business up in November by 9% and 8% respectively, compared with the same month in 2017. […]

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