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Stakeholder pensions could be approaching 'obsolescence'

Sales of stakeholder pensions have fallen by 28 per cent in the last year, prompting speculation that the schemes are nearing the end of their usefulness.

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Fall in tax receipts means VAT to rise as planned

There seems no prospect that the cut in VAT will be extended beyond the planned end of the year reversion to the old rate after it was revealed that tax revenues have fallen sharply.

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Government broadens its trade credit insurance scheme

The government has amended its trade credit insurance top-up scheme so that more businesses can take advantage of it.

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Recession pushes green policies down the business agenda

Smaller businesses are devoting less attention to green policies as they cope with the economic downturn, a new survey has revealed.

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Tax plans would help high streets recover

The Chancellor has been urged to drop VAT on energy efficient domestic appliances in a scheme that would mirror the car scrappage programme.

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Drop National Insurance increase to save jobs

The government has been urged to scrap plans to increase National Insurance payments in response to rising unemployment figures.

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VAT cut claims disputed

Figures suggesting that not all retailers passed on last December’s cut in VAT have been countered by a leading trade organisation.

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Credit conditions remain tough for SMEs

Larger businesses are experiencing a greater availability of credit for the first time this year, but smaller firms are continuing to struggle to access capital, the CBI has reported.

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Lending 'monopoly' is hitting smaller firms

Mergers between big financial high street institutions and government measures aimed at stimulating lending amongst the larger banks in the aftermath of the credit crunch are having the effect of suffocating competition and limiting the choices of finance open to small firms, it has been claimed.

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Firms say jobs still under pressure

Jobs continue to be at risk during the economic downturn, with a significant proportion of employers contemplating redundancies over the next six months.

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