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After six years, wage rises match inflation


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21 Apr 2014

After nearly six years of falling real wages, rise in weekly earnings have finally caught up with inflation.

Weekly wages, including bonuses, rose by 1.7% in the year to February, up from 1.4% in January, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation stood at 1.7% in February and fell to 1.6% in March....

Junk food diet means that more than 2.5 million pets are now classed as obese


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28 Mar 2014

Junk Food and fatty treats are fuelling an obesity crisis for pets, experts say.

Pet owners are giving more than 10 million animals high-calorie foods including take-aways, biscuits, chips and even alcohol, according to the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) charity.

Around nine out of ten owners give their pets treats, despite the fact that 91 percent realise the resulting obesity can reduce their pet’s lifespan....

Extending maternity leave to 20 weeks unaffordable, says British Chambers of Commerce.


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26 Mar 2014

New plans from the European Parliament to extend maternity leave from six to 20 weeks have been called “unaffordable” by the British Chambers of Commerce.

The cost to British businesses would be £2.5 billion per year should the rules come into force, according to an impact study carried out by the Pregnant Workers Directive on behalf of the EU Parliament.   ...

Zero-hour contracts – a thorn in the side of first time buyers


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24 Mar 2014

The growing trend of ‘zero-hour contracts’ is making it even harder for young people get on the property ladder, mortgage brokers have warned.

The term zero hours means that an employee is on-call for work, but without a minimum amount of weekly hours specified.

Because lenders look for a history of income to prove that the borrower can afford a loan; the lack of guaranteed income can severely delay a first-time buyers’ plans....

New £1 coin unveiled


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21 Mar 2014

A new 12 side pound coin based on the threepenny bit is being unveiled – and is said to be the hardest in the world to fake.

Described as a ‘giant leap into the future’ the new coin will replace a familiar token that the Treasury says has a 3% forgery rate – amounting to a total of more than 45m in circulation.

The new coin is based on the historic three pence piece, also known as the ‘threepenny bit’, which was the first coin to feature a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II....