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Budget 2018: Contractors face higher tax and NI payments

Budget 2018: Contractors face higher tax and NI payments

Business
Hundreds of thousands of private-sector contractors face higher tax and National Insurance (NI) bills from April 2020.The chancellor announced that tighter tax rules for those working in the public sector will be extended to those working for private firms. The rules, known as IR35, are designed to hit those deemed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to be employees.Among those affected will be IT contractors, engineers and consultants.The crackdown is the biggest revenue-raising measure in this year's Budget. Critics accused the chancellor of hurting thousands of people who are self-employed, and burdening businesses too.But the Treasury insisted that the reforms would not affect anyone who was genuinely self-employed.How will the new rules work?For IR35 to...
Debenhams slumps to £500m loss as stores face axe

Debenhams slumps to £500m loss as stores face axe

Business
Debenhams, Britain's biggest standalone department store chain, will announce the biggest loss in its 240-year history on Thursday as it sets out a plan to shrink its footprint in a radically shifting retail environment. Sky News can reveal that Debenhams will report a statutory annual loss of almost £500m for the year to 1 September.The mass of red ink on its accounts will arise from an overall charge of more than £500m - offsetting underlying profits of about £33m - relating to goodwill and impairments connected to store leases and IT systems.Alongside the full-year loss, Debenhams will confirm the closure of one-third of its 165 stores over the next five years, a stark upward revision from earlier guidance that around ten of its stores were facing the axe....
Youngest US face transplant recipient shares story of suicide survival and hope

Youngest US face transplant recipient shares story of suicide survival and hope

Health
As a star student and a promising athlete at her Mississippi high school, with college ambitions, it seemed that the sky was the limit for then-17-year-old Katie Stubblefield, her father said. "She was driven for a purpose," her father, Robb Stubblefield, told "Nightline." "When she was a kid, she played soccer from the time she was, what, 4 years old? And she was not very nice at playing soccer ... they used to call her 'bulldozer.'" But amid the stress of looking at colleges and looking ahead to graduation, the teen's life took a detour. Now, four years later, she has a different story to tell -- one that describes the emotional struggles of adolescence, the permanence of split-second decisions and how two troubled souls came together to create a second chance. This story will b...
India's shadow banking sector likely to face shake-up after default

India's shadow banking sector likely to face shake-up after default

Finance
By Krishna N. Das and Neha DasguptaIndia's burgeoning shadow finance sector is likely to face a shake-up after defaults at one major lender battered the nation's financial markets in the past week and reinforced worries about credit risk. Industry officials and experts say they expect Indian regulators to cancel the licences of as many as 1,500 smaller non-banking finance companies because they don't have adequate capital, and to also make it more difficult for new applicants to get approval. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which has been tightening rules for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), did not respond to requests for comment. Better capitalised and more conservatively run finance firms are likely to swallow up an increasing number of smaller rivals, the experts said. That co...
Driverless car makers face jail if AI causes harm

Driverless car makers face jail if AI causes harm

Technology
Makers of driverless vehicles and other artificial intelligence systems could face jail and multi-million pound fines if their creations harm workers, according to the Department of Work and Pensions. Responding to a written parliamentary question, government spokesperson Baroness Buscombe confirmed that existing health and safety law "applies to artificial intelligence and machine learning software".This clarifies one aspect of the law around AI, a subject of considerable debate in academic, legal and governmental circles.Under the Health and Safety Act of 1974, directors found guilty of "consent or connivance" or neglect can face up to two years in prison.This provision of the Health and Safety Act is "hard to prosecute," said Michael Appleby, a health and safety lawyer a...