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Helping Tories add up the sums

Those among you who believe that celebrity-fronted advertisements should come with a stern health warning might have raised an eyebrow at the beginning of this month, when it became known that former Countdown presenter Carol Vorderman is to head a Tory party task force to make maths fun.

According to these doubting Thomases, the problem is that for 10 years Vorderman supplemented her estimated £900,000 salary from Channel 4 as the face of FirstPlus – a debt consolidation company and purveyor of innovative secured personal loans which, according to debt counselling agencies, have led many a borrower into ruin.

Credited with an IQ of 154 and regarded by game show fans as a mathematical wizard, it was widely felt that Vorderman was disingenuous at best in using her persona in this way. But hoodie-hugging David Cameron and Tory education spokesman Michael Gove are more positive and have asked her to make maths more chirpy, so that’s all right.


Buyers still not sold on HIPs

Conveyancers have called on the government to abolish Home Information Packs after a report by the Department for Communities and Local Government showed the packs are still not working.

Towards a brighter future

Equity release is one of the few financial markets that is growing in the UK, but it is a sign of the times that this is probably because it is one of the few areas in which there is still an opportunity for advisers and lenders to make their mark.

Failure won’t stop regulators paying themselves bonuses

The Financial Services Authority’s budget for 2009/10 has leapt to an eye-watering £415m, leaving shell-shocked firms to find an additional £117m for the privilege of having someone to watch over them.However, that £415m figure pales into insignificance when you add up what regulation – and pretty shoddy regulation at that – has cost the industry […]

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Absence management systems gone AWOL from UK’s SMEs, reports Jelf

A quarter (23 per cent)* of the UK’s small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not have an absence management system in place, according to new research from Jelf Employee Benefits. Despite 69 per cent* of organisations having a system in place, three-quarters (75 per cent) report that it is not providing them with sufficiently empowering absence or health data to inform an effective wellbeing programme.


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