Helen Nugent

Tax, exchange rates, mortgages and pensions

Tax officials are attempting to recoup millions of pounds in tax relief granted to celebrities, according to the BBC.

The monies relate to a scheme designed to kick start economic growth in deprived areas including the building of two data centres on Tyneside that remain unused some years on.

The BBC says that ‘Wayne Rooney, Arsene Wenger, Jimmy Carr and Rick Parfitt were among 675 people who invested £79 million in 2011 but got back £131 million in relief – or £50 million “tax profit”‘ but ‘there is no suggestion of wrongdoing by anyone who put money into Cobalt Data Centres 2 and 3, nor that they were aware they would not be tenanted and functioning within a reasonable time’.

Exchange rates Despite exchange rates sliding to below one euro to the pound, airport profits from bureaux de change have soared to more than £100 million, an investigation by The Times has found. The paper states: ‘Passengers at British airports get worse rates than those at European hubs as Heathrow and Gatwick drive up rents and strike exclusivity deals with foreign-exchange operators. More than five million people are expected to fly from British airports this Christmas, with almost 250,000 travelling through Heathrow on its busiest day. One in ten travellers buys currency from their departure airport.’ Financial compensation The Telegraph reports that riskier firms will have to make larger contributions into Britain’s £3.5 billion financial compensation fund. The City regulator has proposed proposed lifting the cap on some claims to £1 million. Under a series of measures laid out by the the Financial Conduct Authority, the remit of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme will be revamped and broadened. The scheme pays compensation to consumers when financial services firms fail. It paid out £271 million in the year to the end of March. In other compensation news, Thisismoney reports that complaints over mis-sold payment protection insurance schemes will reach record highs in 2017.

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