Wage inflation means more paying higher tax and losing benefits

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned that more people are being dragged into higher tax brackets but are left no better off due to inflation and the loss of child benefit payments. The proportion of people losing child benefit because they earn more than £50,000 was about 13% in 2013 but will soon be 20%, while the number of people losing their tax-free allowance because they are paid over £100,000 is about 1m now – 50% more than at the end of the last decade. Paul Johnson, head of the IFS, commented: “They are paying a 62% marginal rate on more than £20,000 of income. That is a big structural change to the tax system which has just happened as a result of inflation.” A third more Britons earn more than £150,000 than in 2011. Up to £1bn a year may have been raised from top earners because of this, the IFS estimates. If thresholds had risen in line with inflation they would be £120,000 and £180,000.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1 The Times, Page: 2


House prices up 2.8%


Halifax’s latest index has indicated that house prices increased 2.8% in the three months to February, compared with the same period a year ago, a rise of 5.9% on a monthly basis – which is the largest single monthly increase ever recorded on the index. The stark contrast to figures from rival lender Nationwide last week, which showed prices were just 0.4% higher in February than the same month last year, has prompted concerns over Halifax’s data.

The Daily Telegraph

Social media firms to remove posts which could collapse trials

Solicitor General Robert Buckland has announced that Facebook, Twitter and Google have agreed to a rapid “takedown” system to remove posts if they are in contempt of court, saying the move will help protect the “integrity” of jury trials. He said the social media firms have backed a special point of contact procedure, saying: “There will be a named person in each organisation who my officials can contact to deal speedily with issues of contempt of court where takedown is what needs to happen.” Mr Buckland is also issuing new advice to jurors making clear that it is a criminal offence for them to conduct online searches about their case. With the Ministry of Justice launching new contempt of court guidance, Mr Buckland commented: “Social media users must think before they post – the rules are the same as those for traditional media, and being found in contempt of court could result in a fine or up to two years in prison.”

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 11 The Times, Page: 6