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Wednesday, March 8th, 2017


Budget: Tax hike 'anti-enterprise'

Chancellor under attack over hit on self-employed

Philip Hammond

Chancellor Philip Hammond suffered criticism from business leaders and is own backbenchers after hiking National insurance contributions for the self-employed. The measure, which breaks a 2015 Tory manifesto pledge on NI contributions, would result in 1.6 million people paying £240 on average more every year. Mr Hammond risks a backlash from Tory backbenchers who will feel nervous about how the plan will be received in their constituencies. Class 4 contributions will rise by 1%, and by a further 1% in 2019. Combined, they will cost each self-employed person 60p perRead More

UEFA anticipates 'tough decision'

Germany and Turkey in battle for Euro finals

The right to host the 2024 European Championship finals has come down to a shoot-out between Germany and Turkey. UEFA, European football’s governing body, has confirmed the two countries were the only ones to submit a declaration of interest before the deadline of 3 March. Both federations must now produce a bid dossier by April 2018, with the winning proposal chosen the following September. “It’s clear that there will be two strong bids for UEFA’s showcase national team competition,” said UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis. “It will be a toughRead More

Top roles for duo

Crime and risk experts for resilience centre

Paddy Tomkins

The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) has recruited experts from crime and risk management into two top roles. Its chairman will be former senior police officer Paddy Tomkins (far left), now chief executive at Droman, a policing and public safety consultancy. He will be joined on the board by vice-chairman Douglas Barnett (above right), head of customer risk management at AXA.  Mr Tomkins was HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland (HMCICS), the senior professional adviser on policing and security to government ministers.  In that role he produced the ‘Independent Review of Policing inRead More

Budget: Investments

Changes to dividends, savings and pensions

The Chancellor’s cut in the dividend allowance for which company directors use to top up their income was described as anti-business. His change will also impact on savings and he increased the amount that can be locked away in an ISA. Directors dividends The chancellor will lamp down on company directors who choose to pay themselves with dividends rather than drawing a higher salary from their company. Many small traders set up businesses by forming a company and paying themselves through dividends as well as a salary. He has reducedRead More

Head of equities departs

Cumming leaves Standard Life Investments

David Cumming

One of the UK’s top investment managers, David Cumming of Standard Life Investments, has left to pursue other interests…

Budget: Money Comment

Few changes, and that’s fair enough

Alan Steel

What’s the world coming to ? The UK March Budget used to be fun. Umpteen controversial changes aimed at the investment and financial planning community.   Boffins would pore over thousands of pages of small print playing Spot The Loopholes. Then esoteric products with high hidden charges would be flogged on a “hush hush, dinnae tell anybody” basis. And shut down the following Budget. Then the process would begin all over again.  Ah, the good old days.  All the way from then, through the 1980s, right up to Gordon Brown’sRead More

Budget: North Sea oil and gas

Help for North Sea should help exploration

Brent Oil field

An expert panel is to be established to look at further help for the North Sea oil and gas sector. New measures in the form of a statutory instrument are expected to encourage further investment on the UK Continental Shelf. Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, responded to today’s Budget saying: “We welcome the Chancellor’s response to our call to resolve the tax issues slowing down asset transfers and his recognition of the need to maximise recovery of remaining UK oil and gas reserves.  “The publication of theRead More

Budget: Retail

Chancellor drops hints at online retail tax

shop closure

The Chancellor dropped broad hints of a tax on online retailers which was an issue raised by Daily Business ahead of today’s statement. There were few other measures to specifically help bricks and mortar retailers. David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “The Chancellor’s Budget will have a mixed effect for Scottish retail. “Workers will benefit from the increase in the personal allowance this year and next. With the projected growth in household spending set to almost halve this year compared to last, that commitment will provide timelyRead More

Budget: Impact on Scotland

Mackay urged to reverse cuts after Budget windfall

Money - own pic

Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay is under pressure to reverse his cuts to public services after receiving a £350 million windfall from the Budget. Chancellor Philip Hammond unveiled the extra funding through the Barnett Formula. He said: “The Scottish government can take further steps to strengthen Scotland’s economy and make sure that Scottish people, of all background and no matter where they live, feel the benefits of economic growth.” Shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser said that the new money means there’s now no need for the SNP to make Scotland theRead More

Budget: 4% rise in spirits duty

Whisky duty hike ‘a major blow’ to sector

Julie Hesketh-Laird

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) was dismayed by the Chancellor’s decision to impose a near-4% increase in excise duty on spirits – equivalent to 36p a bottle. The hike emerged from a reading of the small print in the Budget papers. When the Chancellor announced that there would be “No change to previously planned upratings of duties on alcohol”, commentators interpreted it as a freeze. In fact, excise on spirits, including Scotch Whisky, will rise by 3.9%.  Excise and Vat on an average priced bottle of Scotch in the UK nowRead More