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OECD calls for UK rethink on means&#39 testing

The Government&#39s policies on means-tested benefits will damage incentives to work and save, according to the OECD.

In a report entitled, Ageing & Employment Policies in the UK, the OECD says the Government&#39s policies on means&#39 testing have to change to avoid the risk of “a pronounced slowdown in economic growth”.

The OECD says the Government needs to raise the state pension substantially to combat the effects of means&#39 testing and index it to earnings, linking it either to citizenship or residency along the lines of the scheme suggested by the Liberal Democrat Party at its conference last week.

The OECD says the Government should consider options to simplify the two-tier state pension system and overly complex means-tested benefits.

Its report also points to a threat to economic growth posed by the number of people out of work and relying on benefits and it recommends that the Government should take further steps to restrict disability benefits from being used as a route into early retirement schemes.

The report says in the long run, an increase in the state pension should be envisaged in line with inc-reased life expectancy.


LIA calling for annual &#39health statement&#39 from ombudsman

The LIA is calling on the FSA and Financial Ombudsman Service to publish annual statements on the health of the financial services industry. In a written response to consultation paper 04/12 on the ombudsman service, LIA public affairs director John Ellis says an annual health statement would draw attention to areas of concern and also […]

Motoring into the mortgage majors

GMAC Residential Funding executive chairman Stephen Knight says the lender has its sights on achieving top 10 status in the UK and is confident it can make it without a high-street presence. Head of marketing Jeff Knight says such the top 10 is well within the powers of the firm and refutes reports of a […]

Commonhold comes into force

New rules on commonhold – a new type of property ownership as an alternative to leasehold &#45 come into force today. The rules allow for freehold ownership of individual flats, houses and non-residential units within an estate or building. Possession is not limited by a time period as with a lease. With no third-party landlord, […]

On the shelf

Do you think that the recommendations in the Miles&#39 report have been shelved? Warren: When the Miles&#39 review was first announced, I seriously wondered whether the Chancellor had forgotten about the existing shake-up of mortgages already taking place under FSA regulation. Perhaps the Miles&#39 report is just one set of recommendations too many at the […]

Where next for the price of oil?

Having stabilised at around $65 a barrel, many investors are questioning if the price of oil will rise, and when. Richard Hulf provides his view. Richard Hulf, manager of the Artemis Global Energy Fund, sets out his thoughts about how the oil price may move through the next six months. At the start of the […]


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