Gordon Brown has denied that handing out vouchers worth at least £250 each to millions of UK parents might be considered a bribe coming as it does ahead of an expected general election
TThe Daily Telegraph notes the chancellor saying: "The child trust fund is not a policy that is being launched in 2005 without thought going back a number of years."
"This is not being sprung on you; the gestation of this idea goes back to 2001.”
Mr Brown told a press conference that child trust fund vouchers worth a total of more than £500m would be posted from Monday.
About 2 million parents of children born after September 1, 2002, will receive at least £250 per child and parents registered for child tax credit who are earning less than £13,480 a year will receive an extra £250 per child.
JOHN TINER, chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, faces questioning by the Commons Treasury Select Committee over his handling of the split capital trust scandal, The Times writes.
MPs want to summon the chief regulator, who was roasted by them two years ago for being “comatose on the job”, to explain why he dropped criminal pursuit of firms and individuals. Norman Lamb, a Liberal Democrat MP on the committee, wrote to Mr Tiner yesterday seeking explanation.
He plans to push for Mr Tiner to be called to appear before a full public session of the committee.
The FSA settled with 18 firms on Christmas Eve, agreeing to make no finding of wrongdoing against them in return for the promise of £194m in compensation to investors.
THE RATE of individual bankruptcies is growing rapidly in Scotland, but is still well behind the two UK hotspots of Northern Ireland and London, according to new research, Scotsman reports.
Business group Grant Thornton has found that London and Northern Irish cases had increased 52% and 67% respectively in the year to September 2004, helping trigger in excess of 45,000 individual bankruptcies.
These were fuelled mainly by growing credit card debt per UK household, which now stands at almost £2,300.
In Scotland, individual sequestrations - the Scottish term for bankruptcy - fell by 0.32 per cent from the end of 2003 to 2004, but there was a 28 per cent rise from the first quarter of last year to the third, with Q3 the highest quarterly figure recorded right across the UK.IFAonline
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Will face 'appropriate action'