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GOVERNMENT UPDATEBack

RMIReport1UK Labour Market: August 2016

Between January to March 2016 and April to June 2016, the number of people in work increased. There were 31.75 million people in work, 172,000 more than for January to March 2016 and 606,000 more than for a year earlier.

The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.5%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.

There were 1.64 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 52,000 fewer than for January to March 2016, 207,000 fewer than for a year earlier and the lowest since March to May 2008.

The unemployment rate was 4.9%, down from 5.6% for a year earlier. The last time it was lower was for July to September 2005.

Average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain increased by 2.4% including bonuses and by 2.3% excluding bonuses compared with a year earlier.

Full story: ONS UK Labour Market

Consumer price inflation: July 2016

The reporting period for this release covers the calendar month of July 2016, therefore, the period after the EU referendum.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 0.6% in the year to July 2016, compared with a 0.5% rise in the year to June.

Although the small increase in the rate between June 2016 and July 2016 takes it to the highest seen since November 2014, it is still relatively low in the historic context.

The main contributors to the increase in the rate were rising prices for motor fuels, alcoholic beverages and accommodation services, and a smaller fall in food prices than a year ago.

These upward pressures were partially offset by falls in social housing rent, and falling prices for certain games and toys.

Full story: Consumer price inflation July 2016

BBC News: Fuel prices push up UK inflation rate to 0.6%

Making tax digital

Department:     Treasury (HMRC)

Summary:

Government is embarking on a ‘tax revolution’,

By 2020, HMRC will have moved to a fully digital tax system where:

  • bureaucratic form-filling is eradicated — taxpayers should never have to tell HMRC information it already knows;
  • unnecessary time delays are eliminated — the tax system operates much more closely to ‘real time’, keeping everyone up to date and removing the risk of missed deadlines, unnecessary penalties, debts arising and errors in the system being carried forward from one year to the next; and
  • taxpayers have access to digital accounts — with the information HMRC needs automatically uploaded, bringing an end to the tax return.

A number of consultations have now been published in relation to ‘Making tax digital’.

These include:

  • Making Tax Digital for Business – An overview for small businesses, the self-employed and smaller landlords
  • Making Tax Digital: Voluntary pay as you go
  • Business Income Tax: Simplifying tax for unincorporated businesses
  • Making Tax Digital: Bringing business tax into the digital age
  • Making Tax Digital: Tax administration
  • Making Tax Digital: Transforming the tax system through the better use of information

Full policy document:  Making tax digital

Chancellor Philip Hammond guarantees EU funding beyond date UK leaves the EU

British businesses and universities will have certainty over future funding and should continue to bid for competitive EU funds while the UK remains a member of the EU.

Thousands of British organisations will receive guarantees over EU funding in a new move by Chancellor Philip Hammond today (13 August 2016).

Key projects supporting economic development across the UK will be given the green light, ending uncertainty over their future following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

Assurances set out by the Treasury include:

  • All structural and investment fund projects, including agri-environment schemes, signed before the Autumn Statement will be fully funded, even when these projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.
  • The Treasury will also put in place arrangements for assessing whether to guarantee funding for specific structural and investment fund projects that might be signed after the Autumn Statement, but while we remain a member of the EU. Further details will be provided ahead of the Autumn Statement.
  • Where UK organisations bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis for EU funding projects while we are still a member of the EU, the Treasury will underwrite the payments of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.

Full story:        Chancellor guarantees EU funding beyond date UK leaves the EU

 

Posted by Sue Robinson on 19/08/2016