2017 – a good year for share prices

Share prices rise

The world’s share markets were a profitable place to be in 2017. Share value increases in 2017   2017 had its fair share of dramas. There was the unending reality show of Donald Trump and his tweets. On this side of the Atlantic the ongoing saga was Brexit and the “strong and stable” government that…

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The slow climb of US interest rates

The central bank increased US interest rates again in December. While the Bank of England managed just one interest rate rise in 2017, to end the year at 0.5%, its counterpart in the US notched up three increases, finishing at 1.25%-1.50%. The trio of Federal Reserve increases were all well telegraphed, so much so that…

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The next steps in automatic enrolment

automatic enrolment

The government has published a review on automatic enrolment in workplace pensions which makes important proposals for employers. Automatic enrolment of employees in workplace pensions has been a greater success than many predicted when it was introduced in October 2012. To date over nine million employees have been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension and…

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HMRC v Airbnb – rent-a-room relief in the spotlight


An HMRC paper promised in the Budget could be bad news if you use Airbnb. The government has set out a call for evidence relating to rent-a-room relief in response to the rise in short term rentals facilitated by Airbnb and its competitors. Rent-a-room relief is typical of some of the neglected parts of the…

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Scottish income tax unveiled in Caledonian budget

New Scottish Income Tax

Last month saw another Budget – for Scotland, this time.  The Scottish Budget in the middle of December contained potential omens for the whole of the UK. The budget proposed changes to income tax bands and thresholds. In the foreword to the main Budget document, Derek Mackay, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the…

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