The FT says Tony Blair on Wednesday night increased efforts to prepare voters for tax rises in ...
The FT says Tony Blair on Wednesday night increased efforts to prepare voters for tax rises in this year's Budget to pay for improvements in the National Health Service. The prime minister took the latest step in what appears to be a sustained campaign to soften up voters for tax rises, telling them: "In this forthcoming Budget there is going to be a very tough choice." Speaking on BBC television, Mr Blair came the closest yet to announcing tax rises, saying that the NHS needed substantial long-term additional investment.
The FT also writes that Abbey National pledged on Thursday to restart the expansion of its wholesale division in 2003, despite the legacy of investment losses which pulled the UK bank's pre-tax profits down by 2 per cent last year. The bank's wholesale business had been an engine of growth over the past two years, but faced intense scrutiny from investors after surprise write-downs in the first half and a warning about losses from Enron and other high-yield bond investments.
The Times reports Frank Field, the Labour MP and former welfare reform minister, has called on his own party to repeal a £5 billion-a-year tax raid on pension schemes, which has accelerated the demise of generous company pension plans. Mr Field, writing today in The Times, calls for the Government to set a timescale to phase out controversial changes to the way in which pension schemes are taxed.
Phillips & Drew, the fund manager that failed to jump aboard the longest and most lucrative bull run in market history, was axed yesterday after a two-year struggle to retain its identity within the UBS banking empire, writes the Times. The firm will retain its clients and the same investment philosophy it has quietly pursued since 2000, but its name, a City institution for more than 100 years, has been consigned to the scrapheap.
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Guy Opperman has rejected calls to speed up changes to auto-enrolment (AE) despite increasing pressure to boost contribution rates and overall savings pots.
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