Morning papers: BoE calls in QC to probe Forex rigging

The Bank of England has called in QC Anthony Grabiner to investigate allegations that some of its staff may have been involved in manipulating the £3,000bn-a-day foreign exchange markets for almost 10 years, according to the Guardian.

Lord Grabiner has been appointed by the BoE’s oversight committee, which was created in 2012 to police the central bank.

Allegations about potential fixing of forex markets emerged last year and last week the committee began a formal investigation into whether any bank staff knew about attempts to rig the foreign exchange markets.

Earlier this week, Bank of England governor Mark Carney told MPs that the scandal could be bigger than the London interbank offered rate rigging.

One in ten adults to pay two thirds of income tax

The Financial Times reports one in ten adults will pay two-thirds of all income tax this year as changes put in place by the coalition since coming to power focus the tax load onto Britain’s highest earners.

An analysis of official data by the FT reveals that the threshold for the 40p tax rate has risen only half as fast as wages over the past 36 years, pulling six times as many people into the higher tax band as in 1978.

This means someone earning £75,700 today would still be a basic rate-taxpayer if the threshold had kept pace with wage growth.

However, the higher rate kicks in at £41,450, meaning this affects many middle-class professionals whose pay “does not even take them into the top 10 per cent of earners”, the FT says.

Britain faces “crippling” tax rises

The Institute of Economic Affairs has warned that Britain faces “crippling” tax rises and spending cuts if it is to meet the needs of an ageing population, the Telegraph reports.

The institute has calculated the government would need to cut spending by more than a quarter or impose large tax hikes as official calculations had failed to factor in future pension and healthcare liabilities.

Minimum wage set to rise

The Financial Times reports the government has accepted recommendations from the Low Pay Commission meaning that national minimum wage is to increase 19p an hour to £6.50 this year.

This will give more than a million workers a pay rise in what is likely to be the first in a series of real-term increases.

Business secretary Vince Cable hailed the 3 per cent rise as the “biggest cash increase” in the pay packets of the lowest paid workers since 2008.

The rate for 18 to 20-year-olds will go up 10p to £5.13 an hour – a 2 per cent increase – while for 16 and 17-year-olds the statutory rate will rise 7p to £3.79, also 2 per cent.