Conservatives Announce Manifesto Pledges Ahead of 2015 Election

The Conservative Party have released their full manifesto ahead of the 2015 General Election, setting out their proposals to cut tax for employees on minimum wage and take quick action on business rates.

Regarding business rates, the Conservative Manifesto states that they will deliver a review of the rate by the end of 2015 and implement changes in time for the 2017 revaluation; this is earlier than the proposed review timetable.

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Labour Announce Manifesto Pledges Ahead of 2015 Election

The Labour Party have released their full manifesto ahead of the 2015 General Election, calling for action on low pay and tougher sentences for those who assault shop workers.

On the issue of low pay, Labour have affirmed their commitment to increase the National Minimum Wage to £8 per hour by October 2019, and have set out proposals to reform the way the Low Pay Commission works. Labour also intend to require publicly listed companies to state whether they pay employees the living wage, and incentivise the payment of the living wage through tax rebates.

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Latest Kantar Figures Show Continuing Growth of Discounters

The latest Kantar Worldpanel figures released this week have revealed that discounter Aldi is now Britain’s sixth largest supermarket, with 5.3% share of the overall grocery market.

Elsewhere in the market, Lidl and Waitrose also increased their sales and market share. Waitrose increased its sales by 2.9% compared to this time last year, continuing sales increases that started in March 2009. Lidl’s sales growth stands at 12.1% in the latest period, with the discounter now representing 3.7% of the grocery market.

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Business Rates Changes Come into Effect Today

From today, the new business rate multiplier will take effect. The multiplier has risen by 2% to 49.3p in England. This 2% increase is due to the cap on rates increases imposed by Government until 2016 – the rates increase would otherwise have been 2.3% in accordance with the September 2014 rate of RPI. Also from today, business rates will be fully devolved to Wales. This means that the revenue from business rates collected in Wales will remain there, and be redistributed amongst Welsh local authorities.

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