State Pension: Government rethink on £140 per week flat rate State Pension?

One of the coalition government’s flagship policies could be under threat, if reports in today’s Financial Times are correct. The Work & Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan-Smith, has previously announced the introduction of the flat rate State Pension to replace the existing system, which was seen by many as overly complex. The policy was also included in George Osborne’s last budget. However, the FT reports today that Prime Minister, David Cameron, is considering a rethink amid fears that the policy will leave many worse off, including people traditional Conservative voters. The FT report, says that Mr Cameron has decided to review the policy, after ...

Banks still reluctant to lend to small firms according to Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Bank lending to small and medium sized firms has fallen by 20 per cent over the last quarter under the government's Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme (EFG). The system offers banks a 75 per cent state guarantee to encourage them to lend money to ailing or growing businesses. However, figures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills show that lending dropped from £186 million in the first quarter of this year to £149 million in the second.