Weekend catchup — this week’s personal finance headlines

Vacation properties beneath scrutiny over council tax loophole

Ministers are set to crack down on hundreds of vacation house homeowners in England who dodge council tax by way of registering as companies, writes Jim Pickard.

The loophole has grow to be specifically contentious in spaces corresponding to Cornwall, Devon and the Lake District, the place there’s a top percentage of 2d properties.

The talk comes to homeowners of 2d properties falsely pointing out that homes are to be had for let when — actually — they’re handiest the use of them for vacations.

Through calling their 2d house “holiday-let lodging”, homeowners can keep away from council tax and as a substitute pay trade charges. However actually maximum 2d properties are chargeable for small trade price reduction — so they don’t actually pay trade charges in any respect.

Learn extra on FT.com

Longer commutes by way of UK males lend a hand to provide an explanation for gender pay hole, learn about reveals

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Males in the United Kingdom are a ways much more likely to shuttle lengthy distances for paintings than ladies, offering one reason behind one of the gender hole in moderate profits, writes Gavin Jackson.

The longer a shuttle, the much more likely it’s to be completed by way of a person, the Place of job for Nationwide Statistics mentioned on Wednesday. Two-thirds of commutes that last more than an hour are undertaken by way of males whilst greater than part of commutes that closing 15 mins or much less are finished by way of ladies.

Median hourly profits for ladies in the United Kingdom are 17.Nine in keeping with cent not up to the ones for males, in part reflecting that ladies are much more likely to paintings in part-time jobs that have a tendency to pay much less. The pay hole falls to eight.6 in keeping with cent for full-time employees.

Learn extra on FT.com

Barnardo’s loses UK criminal combat to scale back pension liabilities

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Barnardo’s, the United Kingdom youngsters’s charity, has misplaced a long-running criminal combat to scale back its pension liabilities by way of greater than £100m by way of reducing annual will increase for hundreds of retired personnel, writes Josephine Cumbo.

In a case with wider implications for employers, the Excellent Court docket on Wednesday dominated the trustees of Barnardo’s pension scheme weren’t allowed to switch the measure of inflation used for pension bills from the retail value index (RPI) to the shopper value index (CPI).

Barnardo’s argued the transfer was once conceivable beneath its pension scheme laws and would have shaved £105m from the liabilities of its 401-k, which has 9,000 contributors.

The charity had put aside a “six-figure” sum for the Excellent Court docket case, believing a win may just lower your expenses for frontline services and products by way of reducing its pension invoice.

However the 5 Excellent Court docket judges unanimously held that pension will increase for contributors will have to stay unchanged.

Learn extra on FT.com

Brexit rip-off caution issued by way of UK regulator

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The United Kingdom’s monetary watchdog has warned shoppers to be in search of scams as fraudsters make the most of confusion stemming from Brexit, writes Caroline Binham.

The Monetary Habits Authority mentioned on Thursday that it expects extra scams “right through this era of uncertainty”, and warned shoppers to not give over their non-public financial institution main points in telephone calls or emails purportedly from their lender.

The caution was once a part of an FCA replace to shoppers over how they’re going to be suffering from Brexit. UK banking consumers will have to be in large part unaffected as a result of retail operations — even of Ecu lenders — have their very own subsidiaries in the United Kingdom that experience native capital, liquidity and senior managers, all overseen by way of UK regulators.

Learn extra on FT.com

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