The Woodford Equity Income fund announced on Tuesday (15 October) it is to be wound up in a letter to investors. The fund, which has been shuttered since 3 June due to a liquidity crisis, was slated to reopen in December after manager Neil Woodford had repositioned his portfolio into more liquid FTSE 100 stocks.
The High Court has dismissed a challenge against the government’s handling of the rise in women’s state pension age. The State pension age rose to 65 for women between 2010 and 2018, in line with men, and is due to rise to 66 by 2020. The Claimants were women born in the 1950s who have been affected by the legislation equalising the state pension age. They argued that the changes left them with inadequate time to prepare for their retirement and discriminated on the grounds of age and/or sex. They also sought judicial review of the government’s alleged failure to inform them of the changes.
People in the UK paid just under £5.5m in inheritance tax (IHT) last year, according to latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The total was a 3% increase on the previous tax year. The amount HMRC has raised through IHT has more than doubled in the past nine years. It said IHT bills had been rising steadily since 2009/10 mainly as a result of the government decision to freeze the nil-rate band at £325,000 for a decade, it is no surprise that HMRC continues to rake in record sums through IHT.
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has voted unanimously to maintain Bank Rate at 0.75%. Much of the MPC's minutes focused on increased Brexit uncertainty, with the Committee noting that "entrenched Brexit uncertainties and slower global growth have led to the re-emergence of a margin of excess supply.
The Government has announced a new Help to Buy scheme to run from April 2021. It is restricted to first-time buyers and includes regional property price caps to ensure the scheme reaches the people who need it most. There are no changes to the current Help to Buy equity loan scheme which runs to March 2021.