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Pensioners in the UK will soon be receiving an inflation-busting rise in excess of £350-per-week any time soon.

 

It means that for people who become entitled to a full New State Pension, once they have reached the state pension age, then they will get weekly payments of £160.60, which will rise to a sum of £1175.20.

 

For people who reached pensionable age before then and are receiving the full Basic State Pension will get £1304.25 – which is up from £129.20.

 

There are also some pensioners who will also receive a state-earning related pension.

 

Steven Campbell, a representative for retirement specialist Aegon said: “If so many people, including people of pensionable age, facing so many financial difficulties in covering basic expenses any extra is a help.

 

“The inflation-busting increase will offer those of a pensionable age some much-needed good news”.

 

The increase will most likely ignite controversy over the costs of the triple policy – which guarantees that the basic state pension will rise by a minimum of either 2.5% - the rate of inflation – or average earnings growth.

 

Both Pensions Regulator, Financial Conduct Authority and Money and Pensions Service are urging savers to visit the Pensions Authority Service website for free guidance before making any relevant decisions.

 

Savers are also urged to visit the ScamSmart website to learn of the best ways to to be protected against any fraudulence activities.

Nigerian billionaire, Alhagi Dangote GCON (Order of the Niger), is preparing to make a bid for England’s Premier League giants, Arsenal.

 

Marked as the richest man in the West African country, and the 96th wealthiest man in the world,

 

Alhagi, 62, the, Founder and Chair of the industrial conglomerate, the Dangote Group, is putting plans together to stake his case for a takeover bid for the north London club as soon as he has completed his petroleum refinery – the largest in Africa - set-up in Lagos.

 

The refinery is due for completion in 2021.

 

Valued at $14.1billion by Bloomberg’s Billionaire’s Index, he (Alhagi) is a well-known massive Arsenal fan and has made several bids to take-over the club in recent years, which, each time, has been rebuffed by the ‘Gooner’s’ (Arsenal’s nickname) owner – and fellow-billionaire – American business man Stan Kroenke.

 

Dangote said: “As a supporter, Arsenal is a team that I am interested in buying.

 

“I’m going to look at the idea of making a bid once this contract (petroleum refinery) is completed.

 

“I do, though, have several projects that I have to complete. So, I am not looking to buy Arsenal right now.

 

“I’m looking to take them (Arsenal) to the next level, so, I’ll be looking to make a bid next year”.

Beauty salons and, tattoo parlours and nurseries have answered the plea to provide personal protection equipment (PPE) to care workers.

 

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, in the West Midlands, issued an appeal as it struggled to source face masks, single-use gloves and aprons for staff.

 

Supplies donated in response will be used by workers who care for vulnerable residents in their homes.

 

Beautician, Samantha Manton, who donated aprons said: “It was the least I could do for community healthcare workers”.

People selling buy-to-let properties or other property owners could clock up financial penalties due to ‘seismic’ changes to the capital gains tax (CGT) payment rules, says tax specialist Imogen Lea, from Clarke Willmott LLP,

 

From April 6, anyone who disposes of a residential property giving rise to a capital gain on which CGT is payable, will be required to make a digital return to HMRC and to pay an estimate of the CGT due within 30 days from the sale completing.

 

People will also no longer be able to benefit from a possibly substantial sum of money remaining in their hands for up to 22 months after a residential property disposal.

 

“This is a very big change and could easily catch people out,” said Imogen, a consultant in Clarke Willmott’s Taunton private capital team. “Interest on the unpaid tax and other financial penalties will be due if the rules are not followed.

 

“The risk of such a tight turnaround is people being unaware of the changes and failing to comply. They need to be aware of the vastly reduced time limits and to be ready to make the return and estimate the CGT due.

 

“CGT computations are not always straightforward which could mean that if people are not prepared, they might not be able to collate the information necessary to make the CGT calculation in time.”

 

The changes will potentially affect owners of holiday homes, buy-to-let properties, main residences which have been let out at some point, owners of homes with grounds in excess of half a hectare, and owners of houses which have been partly used for business purposes.

 

Imogen says the changes will not generally apply on the sale of a person’s main residence, but will be relevant on the sale of second homes, and where the main residence exemption does not apply for any reason.

 

“Gains are not always straightforward to calculate – if an owner has made improvements to the property the cost of these will be deductible from the capital gain, but if there have been numerous improvements over many years it may be challenging for the client to find all the supporting documentation.”

 

Imogen urges property owners to make an early start to compiling the required information and to start thinking about the CGT position as soon as the property goes on the market.

 

CGT is calculated by treating the gain as the highest amount of the owner’s income during the tax year in question and therefore clients will need to estimate their income during the tax year of disposal as this will impact on the CGT rate applicable to the gain.

 

Personal representatives and trustees as well as individuals will be required to comply with the new rules. Meanwhile, gifts of properties also give rise to a disposal for CGT purposes triggering the new requirements.

 

John Bunker, chair of Chartered Institute of Taxation’s private client UK committee, has branded the new reduced deadline as “a seismic change”.

 

Clarke Willmott LLP is a national law firm with seven offices across the country in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton. 

 

Marks & Spencer is the latest store chain to reward their staff with an extra 15% pay rise. It follows Aldi, Tesco and Sainsbury’s who have already promised their respective staff members an extra 10% bonus.

 

Asda is preparing to give its staff an extra week’s pay in June, which works out as a 25% bonus for the month.

 

Bosses say that they are rewarding “dedicated, committed and outstanding work”.

Mortgage Advice Bureau in Birmingham, has launched a dedicated Mortgage Information Support Service to help homeowners who are worried about their finances as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The free support service, which is available to homeowners in Birmingham, has been set up to answer any queries or worries local people may have about paying their mortgage, and to guide them back to financial security.

To speak to a qualified mortgage adviser via the support service, homeowners should call: 0121 431 2468.  

Mortgage Advice Bureau has also created an online resource of FAQs on the topic. This will be updated daily as more queries are raised.

In an ever-changing economic climate, the UK government is responding daily with new measures to minimise the impact of the Coronavirus, not only on our health, but our finances too. This includes access to a mortgage payment holiday of up-to three months for those worst hit financially by the virus.

However, this may not be homeowners’ only worry regarding monthly finances and with the new Mortgage Information Support Service, Mortgage Advice Bureau is answering people’s most common questions around managing their household finances to help them cope.

Raj Bedi, Business Principal, explains further: “We are living in unprecedented times and some homeowners are rightly worried about their finances. With a mortgage typically being a homeowner’s largest outgoing, monthly mortgage payments are naturally going to be homeowners’ biggest concern. We’ve set up the Mortgage Information Support Service to help local people through this challenging period and to offer advice to those who need it most.

“The helpline is managed by our fully qualified mortgage advisers who can provide guidance about what to do if repaying a mortgage is a worry during the Coronavirus outbreak. As the situation changes in the UK and across the globe, it’s difficult for people to foresee how their monthly income will be affected, particularly for homeowners on short-term, temporary or zero-hours contracts.  

“The government is doing its best to help people during these difficult times and we certainly take financial well-being very seriously, so we are also doing our upmost to support people. We hope that the helpline will allow homeowners to talk openly and get them back on track with their finances.”