GEOFF AND DIANA JONES are taking their dispute with the Inland Revenue over their family partnerships tax affairs to the Court of Appeal, says this morning's Daily Telegraph.
This is the couple owning Arctic Systems who recently lost a court battle against the Revenue about the use of small family-run companies and the associated tax advantages of passing some of one individual’s income to the other partner.
Mr Jones is the chief breadwinner and had in the past been advised to structure the company so he could pass a large proportion of the income to his wife in order to make use of her tax allowances, but the Revenue argued this was tax avoidance because he paid himself a low salary, a further £4,000 to his wife was listed as her income and the remaining £60,000 was then taken by both parties as dividends.
THE PENSION PROTECTION Fund is taking a 10% stake in insurance broker Heath Lambert in a deal that will see it taking responsibility for the £210m shortfall faced by the company's three final salary pension schemes, continues the Telegraph.
Although the Heath Lambert are regarded as some of the most generous in the UK, the contents of the funds are “parked” in a holding company called HLF, so this deal should ensure existing pensioners continue to receive their benefits and other members will be paid a pension of 90% of what they had been expecting, up to a cap of £25,000.
Heath Lambert was the world's seventh biggest insurance broker but was forced into financial restructuring at the end of 2003 to sort out its £133m debt and annual interest bill of £30m.
AND BOND YIELDS on eurozone government debt tumbled to record lows yesterday for the second consecutive day, says the Times, amid deepening market gloom over economic prospects for the 12-nation bloc, in part on the back of the EU constitution ‘no’ vote.
Benchmark ten-year German government bonds sank to 3.121% before closing three basis points lower at 3.133% after the Dutch central bank reportedly slashed its forecast for growth in the Netherlands this year from 1.7% to just 0.4%
It is thought, says the Times, European Central Bank policymakers are trying to dampen hopes of an impending interest rate cut, however, feedback from City analysts suggests the ECB will have to cut rates sooner rather than later because economic growth in Europe is now so slow and this has in turn lowered bond yields.
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