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Budget still on 11 March

The Budget will proceed on 11 March 2020 as previously announced, the new Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed on 18 February 2020. It had been suggested that it may be delayed to give the new Chancellor more time to settle in the job and prepare the Budget. [20.02]
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Barriers to childcare

Take-up of the government's tax-free childcare (TFC) has been lower than expected. IFF Research has published a report looking at reasons why. This was based on 480 telephone interviews between 8 July 2019 and 6 August 2019. The reasons it identifies include: a lack of awareness of TFC poor understanding of some parts of TFC needs being met by other childcare schemes perception th...
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Youngest Scottish finance secretary

Kate Forbes has been appointed Scottish finance secretary on 18 February 2019. At 29, she is the youngest minister yet in the devolved Parliament. She stood in on 7 February 2020 for the former finance secretary to give the Scottish Budget when previous finance secretary Derek Mackay was obliged to stand down after admitting sending inappropriate texts to a boy. Ben Macpherson has replaced F...
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Suggestion of more help for refugees

The UK should provide more help to refugees, according to the British Red Cross and the London School of Economics in a report of February 2020. This would also save the government money. At present, a refugee is entitled to accommodation and £40 a week for four weeks. The suggestion is that this period is doubled to eight weeks. This applies from when the person is granted refugee status. A...
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HSBC loses jobs

The bank HSBC plans to lose 35,000 jobs worldwide over three years after its profits for 2019 were 33% down, it announced in February 2020. HSBC earns most of its profits in Asia. The reduction is about 15% of its workforce. The bank operates in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia. It has 40,000 staff in the UK, many based in the former Midland Bank. [20.02]
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Coronavirus and audit

Audits may be delayed for companies with subsidiaries or substantial operations in China, according to Sky News in February 2020. The Financial Reporting Council has had talks with major accounting firms about audit issues connected with the coronavirus and its consequences. [20.02]
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Charity accounts

The committee that develops the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) for charities has been changed in February 2020. This is part of an effort to simplify the preparation of accounts for smaller charities, and to make charity accounts more user-friendly to the general public. [20.02]
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Fewer landlords

The number of private landlords in the UK has shrunk to 2.66 million, the lowest figure for seven years, it was announced in February 2020. The reduction is believed to be to changes in tax law and other regulations. [20.02]
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Budget may be delayed

The Budget may be delayed beyond 11 March 2020, according to government minister Grant Shapps talking on the Andrew Marr Show on 16 February 2020. A delay would be to help the new Chancellor Rishi Sunak settle in. There has not been a Budget since October 2018. [20.02]
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Intestacy changes

From 6 February 2020 the intestacy provision changes. Where a person dies without a will, leaving a spouse and children, the surviving spouse takes the personal chattels, a statutory legacy and half the balance of the estate absolutely. The amount of the statutory legacy increases from £250,000 (set in October 2014) to £270,000. The law is Trustees' Powers Act 2014. [20.02]
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