9am Lowdown: Paradise Papers, living wage, Budget

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A warm welcome to the start of the week. Here’s your 9am lowdown.

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Paradise Papers leak reveals secrets of the world elite's hidden wealth

The world’s biggest businesses, heads of state and global figures in politics, entertainment and sport who have sheltered their wealth in secretive tax havens have been revealed this week in a major new investigation into Britain’s offshore empires. (The Guardian)

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Self assessment credit card bill blow

The government’s decision to stop sole traders and company directors from using their own credit card to pay their self assessment tax bill from January 13 has come under fire. (The Sun)

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UK living wage rises to £8.75 per hour

More than 150,000 workers will get an inflation-beating pay rise today as the UK living wage, which is paid voluntarily by more than 3,600 employers, is increased against a backdrop of rising transport, food and housing costs. (The Guardian)

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Budget: Chancellor urged to curb second home ownership

Owning a second home could become less attractive under plans being looked at to move wealth out of property and into other parts of the economy. (New Model Adviser)

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KPMG faces fight to retain prized Bank of England audit role

The Bank of England is putting the prized role of auditing its accounts, held by KPMG since 2007, out to tender. (Sky News)

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New on AccountingWEB

Philip Fisher gets to grips with the latest release of offshore tax haven papers: The Paradise Papers leak: What does it mean?

HMRC has finally triumphed in a long-running VAT battle against the Barclay brothers, owners of retail firm Littlewoods, with the Supreme Court ruling that the tax authority will not have to repay £1.25bn in interest.

AccountingWEB regular Norman Younger leaps to the defence of the Queen, whose business and investment arm has been named in the Paradise Papers leak.

And on the industry insights page, Concur looks at the top five expense frauds you need to watch out for.

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Contributions from the AccountingWEB.co.uk editorial team.

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