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Find out how you can apply for compensation before Saturday's deadline if you were mis-sold credit card and identity protection insurance.

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'No living wage' for many part-time working women

Women working part-time are typically earning less than the living wage in many parts of Britain, a new study claims.

Female employees earning below the living wage is the 'norm' in Britain, the TUC says.
Female employees earning below the living wage is the 'norm' in Britain, the TUC says. Credit: Jens Kalaene/DPA

The TUC says most part-time women workers were earning below the living wage in over 50 local authority areas, including three out of four in West Lancashire and two-thirds in West Somerset.

The living wage is currently set at £7.65 an hour across Britain, apart from in London where it stands at £8.80.

The union has called on the Government to ensure companies awarded contracts pay their staff the living wage.

Government: Housing most affordable since 2007

Home ownership is at its most affordable since 2007, the government has claimed.

Responding to research from Shelter indicating many families are cutting back on food to cover housing costs, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said repossessions were currently at their lowest since 2007 and down almost a third since last year.

He added that record low interest rates had made owning a home more affordable, while adding that "private rent levels are falling in real times".

On top of this, we've got Britain building, with nearly half a million new homes delivered since 2010, including nearly 200,000 affordable homes, and almost 40,000 new home owners have been created through the Help to Buy schemes.

– Brandon Lewis, Housing Minister

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One in ten parents 'missing meals to pay housing costs'

Nearly 900,000 working parents are skipping meals to help pay for the cost of housing, new research claims.

More than a third of parents are generally cutting back on food to cover the cost of housing, the survey claims.
More than a third of parents are generally cutting back on food to cover the cost of housing, the survey claims. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

A study from housing charity Shelter found 10.5% of adults with children said they or their partner had avoided a meal to save money for their rent or mortgage.

According to the survey, more than one third (37%) of working parents were generally cutting back on buying food , equating to three million parents across England as a whole.

Some 13% of working parents surveyed, equating to 1.1 million parents across England, said they had put off buying their children new shoes, while 10%, or around 820,000 parents across the country, delayed buying their children a new school uniform in the last year so that they could pay their rent or mortgage.

IMF chief Lagarde: Formal investigation 'is without basis'

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has said the decision to formally investigate her over negligence claims was "without basis".

In a statement after a fourth round of questioning before magistrates, Lagarde said she was returning to work in Washington later in the day.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde.
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said the decision was 'without basis'. Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

"After three years of proceedings, dozens of hours of questioning, the court found from the evidence that I committed no offence, and the only allegation is that I was not sufficiently vigilant," Lagarde said.

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IMF chief 'under investigation' over negligence claims

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has been placed under formal investigation for negligence relating to a long-running political fraud case, an unnamed source has told Reuters.

Lagarde will appeal the French magistrates' decision to place her under formal investigation, saying the allegation of negligence was unfounded, the source stated.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde has said the allegation of negligence was unfounded. Credit: Laura Lean/PA Wire

The inquiry into French businessman Bernard Tapie has embroiled several of former president Nicolas Sarkozy's cabinet members, including Lagarde, who was finance minister.

Tapie was awarded €403 million (£321 million) in a 2008 arbitration payment under Sarkozy's presidency to settle a dispute with the now-defunct state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais over a share sale in 1993.

Kitemark to highlight trusted apps and websites

A new kitemark has been launched to help people identify apps and websites they can trust with their personal and financial details.

Website and apps will undergo
Website and apps will undergo Credit: British Standards Institution

Barclays' Pingit mobile payment service and Barclays Mobile Banking are the first products to have been independently assessed in order to be awarded the new BSI (British Standards Institution) kitemark for secure digital transactions.

Although the kitemark is initially being piloted within the banking industry, the BSI envisages that its use will be adopted by a wider range of firms - for example within the entertainment industry.

Producers of websites or apps which want to achieve the kitemark will need to undergo "rigorous" testing to make sure their security controls meet the required standards for handling confidential data, the BSI said.

Those that meet the standards will be able to give customers confidence by displaying the kitemark on their products and in their marketing materials.

Currency plan 'couldn't be more important' for Scotland

Alex Salmond needs to explain to voters what currency Scotland would use if it leaves the UK, a spokesperson for the Better Together campaign said.

This couldn't be more important. We need to know what money our wages, pensions and benefits would be paid in.

How can we have confidence about the future if we don't know what currency we would use to pay our shopping and energy bills? We have no idea what money we would use to pay for our NHS if we left the UK.

Alex Salmond wants us to vote for independence on the basis of his blind faith and guesswork alone. We should say no thanks to taking on so much risk.

– Better Together spokesperson

The pound 'is Scotland's currency too'

An independent Scotland will keep the pound "because it's our currency too" a spokesperson for Alex Salmond insisted.

A spokesman for Alex Salmond said the pound is Scotland's currency too.
A spokesman for Alex Salmond said the pound is Scotland's currency too. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

He said: "An independent Scotland will keep the pound because it's our currency, too, and pensions and public services will be more sustainable after a yes vote because Scotland's economy is stronger than the UK's."

He added that support for the yes vote had been as high as 48% in recent polls.

He said: "We are looking forward to the debate as an opportunity to communicate the positive message why Scotland can, should and must have the powers of an independent country."

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