Since 2001 the number of self-employed has risen from around £3m to £5m today. This is great but at a time where the self-employed are not yet compelled to save by auto-enrolment, and the financial capability of individuals remains in question, experts have highlighted the possibility of an ‘impending pensions crisis’ for this growing sector of the UK labour force.
Leading think-tank OECD has suggested Governments use the tax system to tackle wealth (rather than income) inequality and inheritance tax is the preferred route.
The market meltdown in early February — when US stocks had their biggest one-day fall in six years — proved to be more of a financial tremor, but the threat of an actual earthquake remains.
As long as growth continues into the second half of the year – which is highly likely – we’ll be entering the tenth year of economic recovery. The question on everyone’s lips (and fear in their hearts) is when will the real downturn start in earnest – when, not if.
If you want to know where the economy is heading then a look at inexpensive treat items is often a good indication that things are not all well. The boss of John Lewis last week pointed to a return of “the lipstick effect” – when a rise in sales of beauty products heralds a consumer squeeze.