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Tories plan pensions attack in Commons today

The Tories plan to take the Government to task for its confused pensions policy in a Opposition day debate in the Commons this afternoon.


Shadow Social Security Secretary Iain Duncan Smith will hit out at the disagreements between the Treasury and Department of Social Security over stakeholder.


They will also crank up their attack on the abolition of advance corporation tax credits in Gordon Brown&#39s first budget which they say is tantamount to successive rises of 2p, 3p and 4p on income tax between 1997 and 1999.

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Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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