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Boost sharing economy with tax cuts, says IoD

Individuals should be able to earn up to £10,000 a year tax-free by sharing their time or resources, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has said.

The IoD has recommended that the government should extend the principle of the Rent a Room Scheme to other areas of the economy such as car sharing or hiring assets.

Currently people can earn up to £4,250 per year without paying income...

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Employers urged to combat skills shortage

Employers should take the lead in tackling workplace skills shortages, according to a report from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

The Growth Through People report urges employers to take initiative in developing the skills of the UK workforce and sets out 5 key priorities to address over the next 20 years:

  • Employers to take the leadership on...
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Majority of micro businesses are home based

More than 8 out of 10 micro businesses are based in the home, according to research by Lloyds Bank Insurance.

The report found that 84% of micro business owners have decided to base their business at their house, while more than half (53%) were started in the home.

The main reasons for working from home were:

  • working from home provides more flexibility (84%)
  • ...
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Gender pay gap at record low

The average pay gap between men and women has shrunk to its lowest figure since comparative records began in 1997, official figures reveal.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the gender pay gap was 9.4% in April 2014.

The gap has narrowed from 17.4% in 1997 and 10% in April 2013.

ONS data shows:

  • the private sector gender pay gap...
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SMEs confident about growth prospects

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are predicting strong growth in turnover during the next 5 years, according to a survey by Santander.

The survey of 500 business owners found that SMEs with annual turnover of up to £20 million are forecasting turnover to increase by 33%.

The research indicates that SMEs are positive about their future prospects:

  • 20% of...
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