• Markets

    Tax breaks to save ageing North Sea rigs in bid to keep production going in the crisis hit area

    Oil and gas firms buying ageing rigs and fields in the North Sea are set to get tax breaks in a bid to keep the area alive.They are in line for extra tax relief to help pay for dismantling the rigs and shutting down wells when the oil has run out.Lawmakers hope it will encourage industry to continue production in the crisis-hit North Sea, where about 36 jobs were lost every day last year.Mark Routh, chief executive of North Sea producer Independent Oil and Gas, said: 'This is precisely what a mature oil and gas province such as the North ...

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  • Markets

    No more loophole for bets on low risk firms: Investors who shelter cash in start-ups must prove they qualify for tax breaks

    Crackdown: Investors in start-ups must prove they qualify for tax breaksA crackdown will force investors who shelter cash in start-up companies to prove they qualify for tax breaks.Investors in Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) will have to show the company could result in a greater loss than return for the investor, and that the firm is genuinely entrepreneurial.A 30 per cent income tax break on amounts invested up to £200,000 has been a lure for investors in the HMRC-approved venture capital trusts, EIS and the Seed Enterprise investment scheme. They are a good opportunity to boost small businesses and job creation ...

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  • Markets

    Scotland's fashion hit heads to the US: Web sales at Glasgow-based retailer Quiz jump 205% to £13.8m in six months

    Fast-fashion store Quiz has seen online sales accelerate after raising £100m from its debut on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year.Web sales at the Glasgow-based retailer jumped by 205 per cent to £13.8million in the six months ended September 30, boosting overall revenue by 35 per cent to £56million and earnings to £5million – an increase of 7 per cent. Fashion hit: Web sales at Glasgow-based retailer Quiz jumped by 205 per cent to £13.8m in the six months ended September 30The brand, which positions itself alongside the likes of online retailers Boohoo and Asos, has 70  stores and ...

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  • Markets

    DAILY BRIEFING: Crossrail workers to be balloted for industrial action in pay dispute

    Pay dispute: Crossrail workers are to be ballotedCROSSRAIL VOTE Workers on the Crossrail project are to be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over pay in the coming weeks.Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union will vote in the coming weeks after the union said workers have learned their pay is around half that of other grades.CASH PILE Online wealth manager Nutmeg is now looking after more than £1billion of customers' cash.The firm – known as a robo-adviser because it uses a computer program to make investment recommendations – saw client numbers double to 48,700 in the ...

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  • Cars

    The car that stops itself if you're about to crash: Mazda develops 'co-pilot system' that can take over from the driver

    Mazda is developing a car which will take over from the driver if it believes it’s about to crash.The Japanese company, famous for its MX-5 two-seater sports car, is launching what it calls a co-pilot system that will brake the vehicle if it veers out of control or fails to stop for other traffic.Bosses believe that the technology, which could be on the road by 2020, will enable older drivers to stay behind the wheel but reduce the risk of accidents.It could also prevent crashes caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel, or who have panic attacks or illnesses ...

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  • Comment

    ALEX BRUMMER: Damaging brawl at the LSE can only be succour for the City's rivals

    The brawl at the London Stock Exchange is an unedifying spectacle. As a pillar of the City of London, the exchange is meant to be an exemplar of good governance. It is also immensely important to Britain's prosperity as we move towards Brexit. Its crown jewel LCH Clearnet transacts and settles derivatives deals from across Europe and the globe.At a moment when the Aramco float plans are being prepared by Saudi Arabia, the chaos at the top of the LSE can only be succour for the City's rivals.There should be no confusion about the cause of this mess. It may have ...

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  • Small Business

    The Budget is a chance for the Chancellor to convince small businesses that he really is on their side, says EMMA JONES

    These days, the run-up to the Budget brings with it a tightening knot in the stomach for British small businesses and the self-employed. And it’s no surprise. Back in March the announcement (and then swift U-turn) of a dramatic tax hike for the self-employed made us all wince.It wasn’t just the principle of putting up Class 4 National Insurance contributions, it was the general spirit behind the move. It demonstrated a lack of understanding about the risk involved in working for yourself - and worse, it suggested this kind of economic endeavour is not appreciated and unwelcome. A reduction in the VAT ...

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  • News

    Self-employed face new onslaught in the Budget as Chancellor plans to toughen rules on tax

    Chancellor Philip Hammond is this week expected to risk a new political storm by announcing plans to raise billions of pounds from Britain’s army of self-employed workers and contractors.Hammond will unveil his Budget on Wednesday amid a gloomy outlook for the economy and the public finances. In a speech that economists said would be cautious, the Chancellor is likely to tighten the tax rules under which freelance workers are paid.Hammond’s March Budget was derailed by a row over hikes in National Insurance Contributions for self-employed workers. Criticism: Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, right, said Conservatives should be supporting self-employed peopleA repeat this week ...

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  • Comment

    Be bold and back the firms of the future, says NEIL CRAVEN

    There is a startling fact about the Government’s strategy for British industry – there isn’t one. At a stretch, you could string together a few stray bits of policy here and there if you wanted to be kind.But it is piecemeal. The approach that has dominated thinking since the 1980s is the mantra that we should let the markets decide where investment money goes.It’s an approach that undoubtedly works on so many levels. Who better to identify the best use of capital than those steeped in the realities of real world trends, not cobweb-filled Whitehall backrooms?Competition at its finest. Or ...

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  • News

    TV property expert link to oil boss in Nigerian bribery probe: Estate agent in London buying spree for 'corrupt oil minister' is named in papers

    A London estate agent who appeared on the BBC’s Homes Under The Hammer has been named in an investigation into alleged corruption by a former Nigerian oil minister known as ‘The Madam’.Court documents filed in the US allege King’s Cross estate agency Daniel Ford helped to buy millions of pounds worth of properties for Diezani Alison-Madueke in London.Daniel Ford’s sole director is Adeyemi Edun, UK company records show. He has been seen on the TV series offering advice on buying and renovating flats. 'The Madam': Cambridge educated Diezani Alison-MaduekeDocuments show that Edun has acted for the controversial Alison-Madueke who was Nigeria’s ...

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  • Comment

    Like discovering future rock legends in a bar, you too can make a 344% profit from this accidental 'investment', says an embittered RICHARD BROWNING

    I love the occasional articles on This is Money when professional investors reveal their luckiest (best) and worst (you did what?) investments. See the related links panel below to read a few classics. Here’s mine.My worst investment  I’d always felt that someone who could take two brothers who hated each other’s guts out of the Manchester ghetto and sculpt them into one of the biggest rock bands on Earth must be on to something.And I was nearly right. He was definitely on to something. And therein lay the path to my worst ever investment: Poptones. The story of how Oasis ...

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  • News

    The universities that earn graduates the highest salaries: Russell Group graduates earn TWICE as much as those from creative arts colleges

    The university you go to matters when it comes to predicting likely future earnings - and so does the course, new research into graduate incomes has concluded.Graduates who went to the London School of Economics, Imperial College London and the University of Oxford earned, on average, more than £40,000 five years after graduation, the study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies for the BBC found.Those who attended one of the 24 Russell Group universities took home an average of £33,500 after the same time period.  High earners: Of the students who did the same subject at the same university, those ...

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  • Investing

    SMALL CAP MOVERS: Mkango Resources boosted by Malawi rare earth funding deal; Regal Petroleum hit by Ukraine tax raid

    It had been a quiet year so far the Mkango Resources share price, but the stock jumped into action this week.Investors poured money into the junior explorer after it inked a 'transformational' deal which will fund the development of its Songwe Hill rare earth minerals project in Malawi.Talaxis – a subsidiary of Noble Group – has agreed to plough in £12million to fund a bankable feasibility study at Songwe in return for a 49 per cent stake in the project. Funding boost: Investors poured money into Mkango Resources after the junior explorer inked a 'transformational' deal which will fund the ...

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  • Cards & loans

    Have a Lloyds Avios credit card? Check your statement immediately as dozens report fraud on Amex cards issued by the bank

    Britons who have a Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card have been urged by an industry expert to check their statements after reports of a string of fraudulent activity.Rob Burgess, founder of credit card website Head for Points, had a spate of people contact him after seeing fraudulent transactions appear on their statements.The cards are the American Express version of Lloyds Avios credit cards and the majority of the fraud appears to be in the form of contactless payments in the US. Avios fraud: Many who have the Lloyds Avios card have reported fraudulent activityMr Burgess told This is Money: 'The ...

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  • Cars

    Islington becomes first council to slap a £2-an-hour surcharge on short-stay parking for ALL diesel cars

    The cost of some parking in the London Borough of Islington will cost more than double for drivers of diesel cars under new directives to target 'toxic pollutants' - though it won't take into account how dirty a car actually is.The surcharge will cost all diesel motorists £2 an hour on top of existing hourly fees, which range from £1.20 to £6.The measures, which are due to be rolled out in January, will see the cost of parking surge for diesel owners who park in any of the 6,500 short-stay bays in the area. First short-stay parking surcharge for diesel ...

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