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Pension reforms announced in Queen's Speech 2014

Plans for giant "pooled" pension schemes with the potential to boost people's chances of getting a better retirement outcome have been unveiled in the Queen's Speech. The legislation will enable "collective schemes" that spreads risk between members.

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Plastic bags to cost 5p from October 2015

The Government has bowed to pressure to introduce a charge on single-use carrier bags to cut litter. Credit: PA

A 5p charge on single-use carrier bags will be introduced in England in October 2015 in a bid to cut down on litter, it was announced in the Queen's Speech.

However, small retailers will be exempt from the charge, to prevent imposing burdens on start-up businesses, the Government said.

Supermarkets handed out more than 7 billion single-use carrier bags in England in 2012.

The move follows success of a similar scheme in Wales where a 5p charge reduced the number of carrier bags given out in the country by 75%.

Northern Ireland has also brought in a charge and Scotland is set to do so this year.

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