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Tax on vans

The government has issued a call for evidence on excise duty for vans to encourage green vans. Just 0.4% of vans bought in 2016/17 was an ultra-low emission model. Suggestions include: changing the £250 duty on all vans to promote cleaner ones excluding the use of red diesel for agricultural vehicles and fishing vessels. Red diesel has a reduced rate of excise duty of 11.14p per litr...
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Laser misuse

On 10 May 2018, the Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Act 2018 became law. Under the new law, it is a crime to shine or direct a laser beam that dazzles or distracts, or is likely to dazzle or distract, air traffic controllers, pilots, captains of boats and drivers of road vehicles. As well as widening the list to include air traffic facilities, offenders face much tougher penalties of up to 5 years i...
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Northamptonshire County Council

On 10 May 2018, the local government secretary James Brokenshire MP appointed commissioners to run Northamptonshire County Council. This follows a breakdown in financial controls at the council. The commissioners have been appointed until 31 March 2021. [18.05]  
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Remote parking

From June 2018, motorists may use remote control parking on British roads. This follows a change in the law made on 16 May 2018. This is a first step in allowing driverless cars. The law also permits "motorway assist" which is designed to help disabled drivers. It is still hoped to have fully driverless cars on British roads by 2021. [18.05]
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Betting terminals stake reduced

The government announced on 17 May 2018 that it is reducing the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to £2. These machines are category B2. The present law allows a person to stake £100 every 20 seconds. It has led to people suffering large losses from the addictive game. It is not yet known when the change will take place. Some reports suggest it could take anothe...
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Tax avoidance in private sector

On 18 May 2018, HMRC announced a consultation to ensure that the correct amount of tax is paid by workers in the private sector. The consultation: notes that only 10% of people using a personal service company do so correctly notes that changing the rules for the public sector in 2017 has led to an increase in compliance, and is considering similar provisions for the private sector. ...
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New peers

On 18 May 2018, new peers were created, including former social security secretary Peter Lilley. Nominations from the Leader of the Conservative Party Diana Barran MBE – founder and lately chief executive of SafeLives The Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Garnier QC – lately Member of Parliament for Harborough and former Solicitor General The Rt. Hon. Sir Alan Haselhurst – lately Member of Parliamen...
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Employment high

The employment rate announced on 17 April 2018 is 75.4%. This is a record high, and 0.6% higher than a year earlier. In the last year, 427,000 people have moved into employment. There are now 32.26 million people in work. The unemployment rate of 4.2% is the lowest since 1975. Official statistics also show that: 820,000 people are now receiving universal credit, of whom 38% are in em...
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Student nurse loan overpayments

New measures have been put in place by the government to ensure nursing students are not unfairly penalised by the recovery of overpayments to their student loans, it was announced on 18 April 2018. Additional payments of up to £1,000 and a deferred re-payment scheme have been set up after overpayments were made to nursing students by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The SLC will be contacti...
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