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SNP childcare plans 'leave 21,000 job shortfall'

Plans by the Scottish government to get more women into work by providing free childcare involve "wishful thinking" in their costing, the Treasury has said.

The SNP has pledged to provide all three and four-year-olds, and vulnerable two-year-olds, with 1,140 hours of childcare per year by 2020.

It estimates that the policy could result in about 104,000 women entering employment and an additional £700 million in tax revenue which would help pay for the additional childcare.

But Treasury analysts said of the mothers affect by the policy only around 83,000 are not employed.

Even if every mother out of work moved into work - in itself highly unlikely - there would still be a shortfall of 21,000.

– Treasury analysts

A spokesman for Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

In terms of our childcare commitments and boosting the number of women in work, it is our commitment to stop wasting money on Trident and on contributing to the running costs of Westminster that gives us the ability to invest in these other priorities.

– A spokesman for Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney

Scottish independence childcare plans 'don't add up'

Childcare proposals for an independent Scotland aren't financially sound, according to analysts at the Treasury.

The SNP estimates that the policy could mean enough women enter work to add £700 million in extra tax revenue. Credit: PA

The Scottish Government has pledged to provide widespread childcare, and estimates that the policy could result in about 104,000 women entering employment.

But as part of analysis of the fiscal implications of a Yes vote in the referendum, the Treasury says this number will be significantly lower.

The Treasury's analysis comes after a paper by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Spice) published in April stated that the Scottish Government had provided no evidence that its plan would get more women out to work.

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Treasury: It is important people pay tax owed on time

The Treasury said it was "important that people pay the tax they owe on time" after plans to allow the taxman to seize money from personal bank accounts were criticised by a group of MPs.

A spokesman said: "Although the vast majority do this, there is still a minority that chooses not to pay, despite being able.

The Treasury said it was 'important that people pay the tax they owe on time'. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

"The proposed powers will give HMRC [HM Revenue and Customs] another tool to collect tax debt owed.

"The current consultation includes a range of safeguards to ensure the power is tightly targeted."

Public sector borrowing falls £7.5bn

The overall government borrowing figure for the 2013-14 financial year was £107.7bn, down £7.5bn on the previous year.

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship has details of the latest public sector borrowing figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Commons committee backs probe into financial service

The chair of the Commons committee has welcomed an independent review into the under-fire financial Money Advice Service (MAS). Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie has said it was important given the role handed to the MAS in drawing up guidelines for pensioners.

Conservative MP for Chichester, Andrew Tyrie Credit: PA

He said: "[The Government] now agrees that this review should be independent, rather than Treasury-led.

"Our report called for the results of the review to be published no later than summer 2014. Given that the MAS has now been asked by the Treasury to play a role in creating the new financial guidance for pensioners, it is even more important that the Government gets on with it.

"A central task of the review will be to assess whether we should continue to channel £80 million or thereabouts each year through the MAS."

Treasury orders review of Money Advice Service

An independent review into an under-fire financial advice service has been ordered by the Treasury.

Economic Secretary Sajid Javid accepted MPs' calls for the probe into the Government-backed Money Advice Service.

Independent probe called over Money Advice Service Credit: PA

He was responding to a Commons committee report which concluded the MAS was "not currently fit for purpose". It was also criticised by a public spending watchdog for failing to reach out to those most in need of advice and not providing value for money itself.

Mr Javid said the Government had long planned to examine its work but that an independent reviewer "will bring a fresh perspective to this important issue".

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£4.2 billion raised in selling taxpayer's Lloyds shares

As the government confirmed it has sold more of its stake in Lloyds Bank, ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills looks at what that means for the tax payer and the company:

UKFI is a company with HM Treasury as its sole shareholder which is mandated to manage the Treasury's shareholdings.

Treasury confirms it has sold 7.8% of Lloyds shares

Taxpayer stake in Lloyds Bank to be reduced

The government is planning to sell more of its stake in Lloyds Bank, ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills reports.

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