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Budget Comment from Paul Marston, Head of Commercial Finance, RateSetter
Thursday, 09 March 2017
The Chancellor's proclamation that the Government places raising productivity "at the very heart of its economic plan" may not be front page news, but is nevertheless of utmost importance. The Chancellor noted that "higher productivity means higher pay", yet productivity in the UK lags 35% behind Germany and 18% behind the G7 average - and that the gap has not been closing in recent years.  
Michael Kitson of Cambridge Judge Business School comments on today’s UK budget
Thursday, 09 March 2017
Michael Kitson, University Senior Lecturer in International Macroeconomics at Cambridge Judge Business School, commented today in The Conversation on the budget by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond.
‘Year of pressure’ ahead for many households
Thursday, 09 March 2017
Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, said of today’s Budget:   “While the economy is performing better than expected, the OBR’s forecasts point to a year of pressure ahead for household finances.  The toxic combination of rising household debt, stagnating incomes, higher inflation and a falling savings rate means that many more people are at risk of falling into problem debt in the coming years.
Increase In The Number Of Self Employed Seeking Help For Personal Debt Issues
Thursday, 09 March 2017
“Any increase in national insurance for the self employed could prove very harmful to the personal finances of tens of thousands of people across the UK.  
Our response to the Spring Budget
Thursday, 09 March 2017
Daniel Mahoney, Head of Economic Research at the Centre for Policy Studies, responds to the Spring Budget:  “It is welcome that, despite the UK’s borrowing forecasts improving, the Budget 2017 was not full of giveaways. Furthermore, although changes around national insurance and the tax-free dividend allowance will have an impact on UK competitiveness, the recommitment to cutting corporation tax to 17% by 2020 will help ensure that the UK remains open for business. 
Budget 2017: Investec Wealth & Investment comments on income tax regime
Thursday, 09 March 2017
Commenting on today’s Budget, Simon Bashorun, Financial Planning Team Leader at Investec Wealth & Investment, said: “The government has for some time looked to address perceived inequalities in the income tax regime and adapt it to the changing ways in which people earn a living. We saw this last year with the changes to dividend taxation, which significantly increased the tax bill for many who paid themselves by drawing dividends from a limited company. The proposed reduction in the dividend allowance from £5,000 to £2,000 in 2018 will further increase these tax bills.   
Happiness experts to respond to Chancellor’s speech
Wednesday, 08 March 2017
The Chancellor’s budget speech on Wednesday will be scrutinised for its likely impact on the economy, public finances and household incomes – but how will it affect the wellbeing of the UK population?  
Consumer Price Indices: Sharp rise in energy prices pushes OECD annual inflation up to 2.3%
Tuesday, 07 March 2017
Annual inflation in the OECD area jumped to 2.3% in January 2017, the highest rate since April 2012, compared with 1.8% in December 2016. This rise was driven by energy prices which rose sharply, by 8.5%, in the year to January, compared with 3.3% in the year to December. Food price inflation also picked up (to 0.4%, compared with 0.2% in the year to December). However, excluding food and energy, annual inflation picked up only marginally, to 1.9%, compared with 1.8% in December. 
Chris Bosworth comments on the SMMT UK monthly automotive figures
Monday, 06 March 2017
Chris Bosworth, Director of Strategy at Close Brothers Motor Finance, comments on the SMMT UK monthly automotive registration figures for February: “Though 2017 started in similar vein to 2016 – with record growth of new car registrations – this golden era for the new market couldn’t last forever, and we anticipate today’s figures could demonstrate that we have reached a short term peak in buying patterns. Already over the course of the last year, we have started to see consumers flock to the used-car sector, preferring to finance 1-3 year ‘nearly new stock’ over brand new vehicles. Given the quality and value of cars available in this market, as well as the general economic outlook, we expect that this trend will continue in coming months. What we are now beginning to see is a slowdown in the business and fleet markets and therefore no longer compensate for the weakness in the private market.” 
Chris Bosworth comments on the strategic partnership announced by PSA and BNP Paribas
Monday, 06 March 2017
Chris Bosworth, Director of Strategy at Close Brothers Motor Finance, comments on the strategic partnership announced by PSA and BNP Paribas for the Opel and Vauxhall acquisition: “There have long been rumours in the market that BNP Paribas were looking to enter the motor finance market in the UK – clearly, today’s announcement of a strategic partnership with the PSA Groupe could provide a good platform for them to do this. Certainly, it is interesting that the Banque PSA didn’t buy the business wholly on its own, as managing such a joint venture is not without its challenges. This is why, historically, manufacturers have tended to either stick with a captive finance house or use a bank as captive. Also of note was the valuation of 0.8x book value, which would indicate that the book isn’t particularly profitable. Given that BNP Paribas will need to fully consolidate the entity it’s hard to see how this will be value accretive for their shareholders, unless they can leverage the platform to really grow in the market through other channels.”   
MAS comment on findings: 600 families spending more on repaying problem debt than food
Monday, 06 March 2017
Caroline Siarkiewicz, Head of debt advice for the Money Advice Service comments on Children’s Society findings: 600,000 families spending more on repaying problem debt than on food.  
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