Bank of England outlines plans for new £50 note

The Bank of England (BoE) has confirmed that it intends to issue a new £50 note.

The new £50 note will imitate the existing £5 and £10 notes, alongside the upcoming new £20 note, and be made from polymer, as opposed to paper.

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Speculation in regard to the future of the £50 note had been rife, with many previously expecting the BoE to scrap it altogether. In March, the Treasury reported that £50 notes are ‘rarely used’ to make purchases, and are often affiliated with crime, including money laundering and tax evasion. However, following a public consultation, the government recently confirmed that the current mix of notes and coins will remain.

Using polymer ensures that the new notes are ‘cleaner, safer and stronger’, the Bank stated. Polymer notes are ‘harder to counterfeit’, and reportedly last around 2.5 times longer than paper notes.

The BoE plans to introduce the new polymer £20 note in 2020. It predicts that the new £50 note will be introduced shortly after this time.

Commenting on the new note, Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘Our coins and notes are respected and recognised the world over, and are a key part of the UK’s heritage and identity.

‘Our money needs to be secure and this new note will help prevent crime. This modern £50 note follows the popular new pound coin, which is the most secure of its kind in the world.’

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IPPR calls for ‘fundamental reform’ of UK economy

Think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has called for a radical overhaul of the UK economy, stating that it ‘does not work well’ for most people.

A poll conducted by Sky Data on behalf of the IPPR revealed that 49% of respondents would describe the way that Britain’s economy operates as ‘unfair to some degree’. Just 22% believe that the way the economy works is fair.

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The poll also revealed that 80% of those surveyed support ‘greater regulation’ of major digital companies; would welcome the introduction of a new corporation tax on multinational companies; and would like to see the National Living Wage (NLW) rise from its current level of £7.83 per hour to £8.75 an hour, to bring the NLW in line with the current Real Living Wage.

An additional 50% of individuals would support asking the Bank of England to ‘control house price inflation’, and advocate raising taxes on income from wealth to match taxes on income from work.

Commenting on the findings, Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), said: ‘It’s time for a once-in-a-generation rethink of our approach to the economy. Working people have had enough of stagnating living standards and massive inequality.

‘A better deal for working people is possible, and will allow us to build a stronger, fairer economy.’

HMRC increases late tax payment rate

HMRC has announced an increase in its late tax payment rate, although it has not increased the corresponding interest rate for repayments to taxpayers who have overpaid their tax.

The decision to increase the late payment rate follows the Bank of England’s recent decision to increase UK interest rates to 0.75%.

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HMRC has increased the late tax payment rate from 3% to 3.25%, while the repayment rate remains static at 0.5%.

An HMRC spokesperson stated that the different rates ‘provide fairness to taxpayers who pay on time’, with those who do not pay on time facing a ‘higher rate of interest on the unpaid tax that would otherwise have gone to our schools, hospitals and other vital public services’.

The Revenue also argued that setting a higher repayment rate could lead to deliberate overpayments of tax, and emphasised that the repayment rate never falls below 0.5%.

However, some experts warned that the disparity in interest rates is compounded by the amount of time it takes to make repayments to taxpayers.

Bank of England Governor states Brexit has ‘cost UK households £900’

The Brexit vote has left UK households ‘£900 worse off’, according to the Bank of England (BoE) Governor, Mark Carney.

In addition, the BoE stated that the UK economy is currently 2% smaller than forecast before the referendum.

Mr Carney did, however, state that there could be a ‘sharp pick-up’ in business investment once a Brexit agreement has been finalised.

Furthermore, government officials have suggested that post-Brexit customs declarations are set to change, potentially increasing the cost of Brexit. Currently, exports and imports to and from the EU, which total around 200 million each annually, do not require a customs declaration. Research carried out by the University of Nottingham’s business school and KPMG has revealed that each new customs declaration could cost an average of £32.50.

Commenting on the matter, former Conservative Cabinet Minister, John Redwood, said: ‘We have a perfectly good functioning trade system with the rest of the world at the moment. It does not cost anything like these figures.’

Meanwhile, figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show an improvement in the government’s finances, with borrowing at £7.8 billion in April – the lowest figure for April since 2008, and £1.1 billion less than in April 2017.

Deadline to spend old £10 notes rapidly approaching, Bank of England warns

The Bank of England (BoE) has warned that the deadline for spending old £10 notes is rapidly approaching.

Paper £10 notes, which feature a portrait of naturalist Charles Darwin, will be demonetised on 1 March 2018. After this time, the new polymer £10 note will be the only note with legal tender status.

Data from the BoE has revealed that, despite 73% of £10 notes currently in circulation being the new polymer type, there are still around 211 million old paper £10 notes left in circulation in the UK.

The BoE is urging consumers to spend their old £10 notes before the 1 March deadline. Individuals will also be able to exchange them for new polymer ones after this time.

The new polymer £10 note came into circulation on 14 September 2017, and depicts author Jane Austen on the back. ‘Tactile’ features for the blind and partially-sighted are also included on the new note.

Plans are in place to introduce a new polymer £20 note in 2020. There are no plans currently in place to replace the paper £50 note.

More information on the new £10 note can be found here.

Bank of England survey suggests UK workers in line for pay rise

The Bank of England (BoE) has indicated that a significant pay rise could soon be in store for UK workers.

Its agents’ survey, which polled 368 UK businesses, suggested that real wages are on course to begin to rise above inflation, and grow by 3.1% during 2018 – a significant rise when compared to 2017’s figure of 2.6%.

Most industries in the UK are set to benefit from the wage rise: however, individuals working in the construction sector are not in line for the pay rise, the BoE revealed.

The forecasted pay rise can be attributed to the upcoming increase in the National Minimum Wage (NMW), which is set to take effect from 1 April.

At this time, the NMW for those aged between 21 and 24 will rise to £7.38 an hour, whilst the National Living Wage (NLW) for workers aged 25 and over will increase to £7.83 per hour.

Commenting on the issue, Howard Archer, Chief Economic Adviser at EY Item Club, said: ‘Expectations that the BoE will raise interest rates in May will likely be fuelled by their regional agents reporting a pick-up in companies’ expected average pay settlements.’

Paper £10 notes set to be demonetised

The Bank of England (BoE) has announced that paper £10 notes will cease to be legal tender in England and Wales after 1 March 2018.

Paper £10 notes will also be demonetised after 1 March 2018 in Scotland.

Image result for old 10 pound and new 10 poundConsumers have until this date to spend their old £10 notes or swap them for new notes, and can exchange them at the BoE after 1 March.

The demonetisation of the old paper £10 note comes following the removal of the paper £5 note from circulation in May and the demonetisation of the old round £1 coin in October.

According to the BoE, the new polymer notes are difficult to counterfeit, and contain ‘sophisticated security features’. The notes are expected to last ‘at least 2.5 times longer than paper notes’, and stay in better condition during everyday use.

The polymer £10 note went into circulation in September in England and Wales, and depicts author Jane Austen on the back. ‘Tactile’ features for the blind and partially-sighted are included on the note.

New polymer £10 notes also went into circulation in Scotland in September and October.