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Businesses borrow again :
Research by BDRC Continental indicates that ambitious companies are more likely to be using external finance than they were last year. There has been a gradual rise in "permanent non-borrowers" among entrepreneurs in recent years, according to the firm, although there are also signs that this trend may be levelling off. In the final quarter of last year, 43% of SMEs met this definition, the lowest proportion for 18 months. And once these were removed, 70% of businesses said that they were likely to use external finance, up from 65% in 2014.
Source : The Times, Page: 40
State pension review announced :
Millions of people could be forced to re-plan for their retirement after ministers announced a review, to be chaired by Sir John Cridland, to assess whether the current pensions system is "affordable in the long-term". The year-long review will consider ending "universal" state pension age entirely and enabling people who have worked for longer to retire earlier. Baroness Altmann, the pensions minister, said the shake-up, which should be completed next year, would ensure payments that were "fair to current and future generations of pensioners and consistent with supporting fuller working lives". Meanwhile, David Gauke, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has suggested pensions tax relief should be used to help lower paid workers rather than those who are better off, amid growing speculation that George Osborne is preparing to mount a raid on the pensions of middle-class savers in this month’s Budget. Mr Gauke said the government wants to ensure that "the costs of pensions tax relief are targeted in the right direction".
Source : The Daily Telegraph, Page: 14 The Times, Page: 6 The Guardian, Page: 1, 4 Daily Mail, Page: 2 Daily Mirror, Page: 4 The Independent, Page: 13 Evening Standard, Page: 1, 2 BBC News
The City is being used as "a base for the corrupt assets" of President Putin's allies, MPs claim.
The salary of Mike Betts - who runs the disabled car scheme - has grown by 78% since 2008.
The growth in banking via smartphone apps puts more branches at risk of closure, forecasts suggest.