News Roundup Thursday 21st March 2019



Wage inflation means more paying higher tax and losing benefits

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned that more people are being dragged into higher tax brackets but are left no better off due to inflation and the loss of child benefit payments. The proportion of people losing child benefit because they earn more than £50,000 was about 13% in 2013 but will soon be 20%, while the number of people losing their tax-free allowance because they are paid over £100,000 is about 1m now – 50% more than at the end of the last decade. Paul Johnson, head of the IFS, commented: “They are paying a 62% marginal rate on more than £20,000 of income. That is a big structural change to the tax system which has just happened as a result of inflation.” A third more Britons earn more than £150,000 than in 2011. Up to £1bn a year may have been raised from top earners because of this, the IFS estimates. If thresholds had risen in line with inflation they would be £120,000 and £180,000.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1 The Times, Page: 2


Chancellor under fire over business rates snub

Retail experts have criticised the Chancellor’s failure to address support for struggling High Streets in his Spring Statement, with more than 47,000 retailers facing a £128m hike to their business rates bill from April 1. Rates are set to soar to 50.4% of retailers’ annual rent payments. Robert Hayton, at property adviser Altus Group, said: “The Chancellor missed a golden opportunity to help major retail and hospitality businesses who are reducing their estates and headcount as well as manufacturers and the services industries hurting from current uncertainties”. Analysts suggest the Treasury is set to make an additional £400m from business rates each year from this year until 2021.

Daily Mail


Bank of England policymaker warns of risk to UK jobs market

Jonathan Haskel, an external member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, has warned that falling business investment driven by prolonged economic uncertainty risks harming the UK’s strong jobs market. Haskel also said he wanted to see firm evidence of rising inflation before voting to raise interest rates.

Financial Times Reuters

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