The Treasury is clawing back millions of pounds in tax from a government fund set up to help people whose occupational pension schemes collapsed, according to the Scotsman .
The revelation has led to accusations the government has been exaggerating the amount of money it will pay out to pensioners through the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS).
While ministers have frequently said they are setting aside £400m for the scheme, they have not made clear that about £88m will remain in government coffers, simply transferring from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to the Treasury, says the paper.
THE TREASURY Select Committee said in a report published yesterday it would name and shame banks which failed in the adequate provision of bank accounts for the poor, reports the Times.
The report comes after a two-year campaign by the committee to halve the estimated 2.8 million people who do not have access to bank accounts.
The committee also told British banks they should stop treating people who open basic bank accounts as second-class citizens.
Despite the warning, the committee acknowledged the banks had improved banking access for the poor and, as a result, legislation is not needed to force banks to open their doors to the poor, but those banks not meeting commitments to supply basic accounts should be named and shamed.
ATTEMPTS BY the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to make the cost of trading shares more transparent have been thrown into confusion by uncertainty about the tax implications of the new regime, says the Financial Times.
Stockbrokers say they are unsure whether payments received from fund managers for equity research are subject to value added tax and they are pushing HM Revenue & Customs to clarify the issue, which potentially affects revenues worth tens of millions of pounds.
If the payments are liable for VAT, fund managers might face additional costs for using equity research from smaller brokers, which could limit the growth of independent research houses not connected to large investment banks.
BUSINESS CONFIDENCE has fallen for the first time in five quarters and could indicate a possible economic slowdown, says the Daily Telegraph.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales' business confidence measure fell to 6.2 in the current quarter from 9.9 in the previous three months.
Confidence among businesses employing fewer than 10 people tumbled to its lowest level since the survey began three years ago. Banking, finance, insurance and property saw small dips in confidence but IT firms became much more optimistic.
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