News Roundup 6th June 2018



Thousands of contractors set to miss HMRC deadline

An estimated 60,000 contractors lured into “Rangers-style” tax avoidance schemes, which usually involve payment via loans from an offshore trust, were set to miss HMRC’s deadline of May 31 for settling their liabilities. Matthew Sharp, of law firm Wright Hassall, said: “There are a lot of people who I think are still burying their head in that they think this problem might go away.” Tom Wallace, a tax specialist at WTT Consulting added: “If you don’t have a tax adviser who’s an expert in this field then the publicity around this has been pretty poor.” Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Lloyd, backed by Vince Cable, has tabled a motion calling for those who entered into arrangements before the rules changed in 2016 to be exempted.

The Daily Telegraph

Experts expect lower Scottish tax revenues

Scotland is facing a £1.7bn black hole in its spending money for public services following a dramatic decline in wages and tax revenues, according to the Scottish Fiscal Commission. The SFC expects income taxes to be nearly £450m lower over the five years to 2022-23 than it previously thought.

The Daily Telegraph Financial Times, Page: 3

Tax-efficient EIS schemes hit by investment fall after rule changes

Provisional data from HMRC shows the number of people investing in Enterprise Investment Schemes fell by more than 15% between 2015/16 and 2016/17.

Financial Times

Grasp the nettle on UK healthcare funding and raise taxes

The FT’s Martin Wolf says the UK can raise taxes to fund the NHS and still maintain an average tax ratio far below that of other northern European countries.

Financial Times


City ordered to learn lessons from Carillion

MPs have demanded that boardrooms across the City respond to their damning 101-page report into the collapse of Carillion. Committee chairs Rachel Reeves and Frank Field want every company, regulator and individual with an interest in Carillion to prove they are considering the report and the lessons that can be learnt from its findings. The pair have sent letters to former Carillion bosses as well as financial, auditing and pensions regulators and companies such as KPMG and Deloitte, Carillion’s auditors. Responses will be published in July. Meanwhile, Lesley Titcomb, chief executive of The Pensions Regulator, is to step down in February at the end of her four-year term. Her stewardship of TPR was severely criticised by MPs investigating the collapse of Carillion.

The Times, Page: 35 The Times, Page: 34-35 Financial Times, Page: 1 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page; 3 The Independent, Page: 68 The Guardian, Page: 37

HSBC looks to RBS for finance chief role

HSBC has approached outgoing Royal Bank of Scotland CFO Ewen Stevenson to replace Iain Mackay as its finance boss.

Financial Times


Business rates appeals plummet in response to new system

Official figures have revealed a 90% collapse in the number of appeals lodged against business rates bills following the introduction of a contentious new system. Data from the Valuation Office Agency revealed there were 23,770 appeals lodged in the 12 months to April 2018 after the new approach was implemented alongside the latest revaluation of business rates. This compares with the 234,210 appeals lodged in the year after the 2010 revaluation was completed. Businesses have complained that they cannot navigate through the new system.

The Times, Page: 40

Barclays launches £500m fund for SMEs

Barclays is launching a new £500m growth fund for SMEs in the north of England as part of the bank’s commitment to support the government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative. It aims to inject investment into businesses across the region with favourable terms for manufacturing, transport and logistics companies.

Small Business The Sun, Page: 49 Daily Mirror, Page: 39 Yorkshire Post, Page: 1


Tax rises prompt buy-to-let landlords to quit

The number of buy-to-let landlords selling their properties is at its highest level since 2015, amid a “barrage of legislative changes”. Letting agents say amateur landlords have been affected by a wave of new taxes, the removal of interest relief and tighter lending rules over the past two years.

The Times, Page: 36


FCA publishes high-cost credit review

The Financial Conduct Authority has outlined a package of plans to crack down on high-interest lending, including a proposed price cap on rent-to-own shops. However, the FCA stepped back from a cap on overdraft fees because of fears it could be challenged in court by the banks.

Financial Times, Page: 3 The Daily Telegraph The Times Daily Mail, Page: 14 The Sun, Page: 2 The Guardian, Page: 17 The Independent, Page: 63


Auto-enrolment worth £75k to gig workers

Research by the Pensions Policy Institute for Zurich has found gig economy workers could boost their pension pots by up to £75,000 if they were auto-enrolled into a pension like other workers.

The Sun, Page: 49


House prices fell in May, Nationwide says

UK house prices fell 0.2 % month-on-month, according to Nationwide, which has pegged annual house price growth at 2.4%, down from the 2.6% recorded in April and the third fall for house prices in the past four months.

The Daily Telegraph The Times

Consumer borrowing up

Household borrowing in April rose slightly, according to the Bank of England’s Money and Credit report, which pegged net lending for consumer credit at £1.8bn last month.

Financial Times The Times

Contact Paul Southward if you have any queries.

Paul Southward